Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Paris to Toronto, Art Theft Merry-Go-Round !!

Cat burglar arrested with 500,000 euros-worth of artworks

Artworks worth 500,000 euros have been seized from a suspected cat burglar just outside Paris. Drawings by impressionist Camille Pissaro and modernist Fernand L├ęger were among the haul.

Police in Seine-Saint-Denis found the paintings and drawings at the home of a 43-year-old man whom they had been tracking for several months.

They also found a folding ladder, mountain-climbers’ ropes and boots, suction pads and a pick.

The haul led them to conclude that the man was responsible for a series of art thefts in Paris’s posh 16th arrondissement in 2009 where the burglar gained access by climbing the sides of buildings.

The investigation began with an inquiry into the sale of stolen artworks by a Paris antiques dealer who was arrested on 11 May in possession of a number of stolen objects, including a painting by Johan Jongkind, a Dutch artist who lived and worked in France, and a small Chinese clock.

Thief steals £3,000 worth of art from Brighton gallery

A brazen art thief walked into a gallery off the street and stole work worth thousands of pounds.

The offender struck in the middle of day while staff and members of the public milled around the artwork.

Valuable items - including one-of-a-kind sculptures - were piled into a bag before the crook raced out.

It was not noticed how much had been stolen until the thief was long gone. Items which were taken were due to be part of forthcoming exhibitions.

The theft took place in the Ink_d Gallery in North Road, Brighton, on Monday.

Dan Baldwin, from the gallery in North Laine, said: “£3,000 of original artwork was stolen from the gallery in one go.

“Alongside some wonderful pieces the perpetrator also stole many smaller items from books to postcard packs to plate stands.

“We have reported it to the police and are currently talking with them about the missing work and those people involved.”

One of Mr Baldwin's greatest fears is that the work will be sold on for scrap.

Second man arrested after paintings stolen from Yorkville gallery

Police have arrested a second man after three valuable paintings were stolen from a Yorkville art gallery in April.

The incident happened early in the morning on April 7 at Odon Wagner Gallery, on Davenport Rd.

Police say two men smashed the storefront window and stole three paintings: “Wild Fields” by Greg Harris, “Still Life with Flowers” by Weidong Wang, and “Seated Lady With Fan” by Zhao Kaolin.

The paintings, valued at $73,000, have not been recovered.

Robert Regina, 48, of Toronto was arrested Thursday and charged with break and enter commit and mischief over $5,000.

This is the second arrest in connection to the theft.

About two weeks after incident, police arrested Aaron Sherman, 43, of Toronto.

'Honour among thieves' claim as pictures go back to painter

A NOTTINGHAM artist is celebrating after 28 of his paintings that were stolen were returned in strange circumstances.

Mik Godley's work was stolen while it was in temporary storage in a studio in Scarborough owned by fellow painter Kane Cunningham following an exhibition nearby at Driffield in East Yorkshire.

But the paintings, which explore Mr Godley's German family heritage, were then returned on the back of a low loader truck in broad daylight after an intermediary acted as a go-between and persuaded thieves to bring the paintings back.

Mr Godley, who lives in the Arboretum area of Nottingham, said: "To be honest, when I first heard about the theft I thought it was a joke, but realisation that I had lost them crept up on me gradually.

"The paintings were two years' work and could not be replaced.

"I felt seriously depressed about that.

"But then Kane got in contact and said 'we've got them back' and I couldn't bring myself to believe it.

"I had started to feel some distance from the paintings, so I still can't quite believe that they have been returned.

"I was in a state of mourning."

Mr Cunningham bought his studio at Knipe Point, near Cayton Bay, Scarborough, for £3,000 as an art project as it is due to collapse into the sea because of land slip.

The thieves struck in March and also stole around 40 of Mr Cunningham's paintings.

Mr Godley said his paintings represented two years' work and had been on sale at up to £1,500 each.

The paintings were not insurable while in storage in the clifftop studio since the property will be destroyed by coastal erosion.

While the police investigated the theft, appeals for help with tracking down the stolen paintings were made through online art magazines.

Mr Godley added: "I was told it was a case of 'honour among thieves' and that an art lover had insisted that they should be returned immediately to the house, so they could be seen by the public as a collection of works."

"They look as if they have been 'manhandled' and have been moved around by grubby hands, but they are okay."

Mr Godley, who works as an art lecturer, said the stolen paintings would have been worthless to anybody on the black market anyway since he is not well known enough nationally.

However the paintings, which have been shown in several Nottingham venues, had intense personal meaning for him and he said he had been through a fall spectrum of emotions since the theft.

North Yorkshire Police said inquiries into the theft were still ongoing. A spokesman said: "A 49-year-old Scarborough man who was arrested on Thursday, April 28, 2011, on suspicion of burglary, in connection with the theft of paintings from Knipe Point, remains on police bail while inquiries continue."

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