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Monday, July 02, 2012

Stolen Art Watch, Monet Damage Dublin Was Dry Run

Shannon Brothers, Andrew left, William right

Man accused of damaging painting is remanded in custody

A 47-year-old man was remanded in custody this evening - and is to get medical treatment - after he was charged with causing criminal damage to a valuable Claude Monet oil painting at the National Gallery of Ireland last week.

Gardaí arrested him after damage was inflicted last Friday to Monet's Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat painting, which is believed to be insured for up to €7m.

Andrew Shannon with an address at Willans Way, Ongar, was charged with criminal damage to the painting at the National Gallery of Ireland, in Dublin city-centre, on June 29 last.

The 1874 impressionist oil-painting had been exhibited at the gallery's room 10 but has since been removed for examination.

Dublin District Court was told this morning that Mr Shannon was charged at 8.14pm on Saturday.

Detective Conor O'Braonain of Pearse St Garda station told the court that after caution Mr Shannon replied: “My solicitor has all the details.”

On Sunday evening, while in garda in custody, he complained that he was feeling ill and was brought to St James's Hospital.

Judge Cormac Dunne had been told that Mr Shannon was taken into the care of a cardiologist at the hospital and could not be brought to court this morning.

The case was adjourned until a late sitting of the court and Mr Shannon was then brought before Judge Denis McLoughlin.

The presiding judge was told that there would be an objection to bail. However, defence solicitor Aine Flynn said Mr Shannon was not making a bail application at this stage.

Mr Shannon, who did not address the court, was wearing a black “Pubs of Dublin” T-Shirt, blue jeans and black shoes.

Ms Flynn asked the judge to grant free legal aid to him and explained that he was in receipt of a disability payment. The judge agreed after noting that there was no garda objection.

He remanded Mr Shannon, who has not yet indicated how he will plead to the charge, in custody to appear again at Cloverhill District Court on Friday.

A second charge was also brought against Mr Shannon for trespassing and attempted theft at a house on Merrion Square, in central Dublin, on February 24 last. Garda Shane Noone said Mr Shannon made no comment when that charge was also put to him on Saturday.

Judge McLoughlin agreed to a request from the defence solicitor to direct medical attention for Mr Shannon, which Ms Flynn said he has required since the time of his arrest.

Man charged for damaging Monet painting

A MAN arrested on Friday on suspicion of seriously damaging the National Gallery of Ireland’s only painting by French impressionist Claude Monet has convictions relating to the theft of collectable artefacts.

A large hole was made in the 1874 painting, Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat, when a man lunged at it in the gallery between 11.30am and noon. The man then fell to the ground, telling security guards he had chest pains. He was taken to hospital by ambulance and was discharged after being assessed.

Gardaí confirmed last night a man had been arrested in connection with the attack and taken to Pearse Street station.

The incident at the gallery was captured on CCTV while a number of people in the room at the time are believed to have witnessed it. Gardaí said some of them had not yet been traced and they were asking them to contact the investigating team at Pearse Street station.

The arrested man, who is Andrew Shannon 47 of Willans’ Way in Clonsilla , is originally from Ballymun, Dublin. He has convictions in Britain relating to thefts from stately homes in which rare books, paintings and antiques were stolen.

He had travelled to Britain with an accomplice and, when caught in a private section of a stately home in Yorkshire he was found to have a walkie-talkie, which he was believed to be using to communicate with the other man. A sat-nav unit with the addresses of other stately homes was also found in his possession.

He was being questioned last night under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

The damaged painting was bequeathed to the National Gallery by the musicologist – and one of the founders of the Abbey Theatre – Edward Martyn, along with six other works by Degas, Corot and others, in 1924.

Martyn was a cousin of George Moore. On a visit to Paris, Moore took him to art dealer Durand-Ruel’s and, according to Peter Somerville-Large, “persuaded him to buy a sparkling river scene by Claude Monet and two pastels by Edgar Degas”.

The painting is the epitome of serenity. Bathed in soft sunlight, a boat sails close to a leafy bank of the Seine, the suburban town of Argenteuil visible in outline in the distance.

National Gallery director Seán Rainbird said: “It is a shocking and very regrettable incident and I would like to praise the Garda Síochána and the NGI staff in dealing promptly with the matter.”

Market values for substantial works by Monet are now well into the tens of millions. A Water Lilies painting exceeded £40 million at auction in 2008. Smaller, less iconic works of quality are unlikely to fetch below the £10 million mark.

Shannon History Back-story :


Anonymous said...

And again, he destroyed two paintings in the Shelbourne Hotel Dublin

Unknown said...

Full of shite

Cllr Keith Martin said...

Well he's in prison for six years. That'll cool him off.

Cllr Keith Martin said...

Well he's in prison for six years. That'll cool him off.