Friday 16 November 2012

Four stolen South African paintings recovered

Four paintings stolen from a museum in the Pretoria, South Africa on Sunday were found three days ago in a private cemetery hundreds of miles away, spokesperson of the city, Pieter De Necker said.

Recovered paintings are - Maggie Laubser’s Cat and Petunias (1936), Hugo Naude’s Hottentot Chief, JH Pierneef’s Eland and Bird (1961) and Irma Stern’s Fishing Boats (1931) - were found underneath a bench at the Ned Geref Kerk in Sundridge Park.
 However, an oil painting by Gerard Sekoto, valued at $800,000, was not among the recovered works.

Meanwhile a source said the museum "the CCTV cameras were not working athe time of the theft.”
No arrests have been made a Police source said.
Spokeswoman Brigadier Marinda Mills said on Tuesday the paintings were discovered by a member of the K9 Unit who had received a tip-off from one of his contacts.
“The officer was contacted by an informer in the morning. The member went to the cemetery and found the paintings in a small private cemetery in Sundridge Park, behind the Dutch Reformed Church.
“Verification of the art must still be done, but from a layman’s view they appear to be the same pieces that were taken in Pretoria,” said Mills.
She praised the manner in which the community had worked with police.
“The importance of police members sustaining good relations with the members of the public has once again proved how valuable this can be in the fight against crime,” said Mills.
She said the Eastern Cape SAPS would be in contact with Gauteng police to assist with the investigation.

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