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'The world's most hopeless art heist': Sydney artist's bushfire relief painting stolen

Sydney Morning Herald 11/02/2020

Sally Rawsthorne

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The painting was still wet when it was allegedly stolen from the business, where it was hanging in the foyer. Ms Jones said a man who had come into the business to inquire about art took the painting from the foyer on his way out.

"It’s a saturated red painting, he’s going to have red paint all over his hands," she said.

"It’s probably the most hopeless art heist in history."

Police were called when staff realised the painting had disappeared.

"About 5.30pm on Friday 7 February, a man attended a photography business on Gardeners Road, and stole a painting - with an estimated value between $10,000 and $12,000 - from the foyer before leaving the store," NSW Police said in a statement.

"Officers from South Sydney Police Area Command were notified and commenced an investigation."

Ms Jones said the work had been valued at around $6000, but was expected to fetch up to $12,000 at auction.  "People really dig deep for art auctions. It is valuable," she said.

"The police thought it was pretty unusual – the thing about paintings is that they are one-offs, so you can’t really resell it," she said.

Ms Jones, who has been a finalist in the Portia Geach Memorial Award, the Doug Moran Portrait Prize and the Shirley Hannan Portrait Award, said the devastating fire season's impact on her family and friends inspired her to donate to the auction, which will raise money for The Climate Council, Firesticks Alliance and WWF Australia.

"I grew up in the Blue Mountains so it’s really been in my community and family. I really wanted to make something special, so I put some banksias in from my uncle's property, which was burnt quite badly," she said.

 

 

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