Three artworks stolen from JAG

2011-10-04 11:15

Johannesburg – The Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) has again been the target of thieves with the theft of three valuable bronze artworks.

The artworks King of the Universe by Ernest Ullman, Mourning Women by Sydney Kumalo and Peter Pan by Romano Romanelli were stolen from the contemporary art storeroom.

Staff at the gallery reportedly became aware of the break-in last Sunday and after an inventory it became evident that three bronze sculptures had been stolen.

Two other bronze sculptures were found wrapped on the floor.

The police have apprehended a suspect and further investigation is under way. The police are working with experts in the field to recover the stolen artworks.

In January this year, a rare Jules Dalou sculpture was stolen from the gallery, and has still not been recovered.

Investigations regarding this sculpture have since been closed due to a lack of evidence.

Public treasures
According to Chief Curator Antoinette Murdoch, the museum has increased its security after the Dalou theft.

“It is clear that not only are we increasingly the target of thieves but it is also likely that their methods will get more sophisticated.”

According to experts it will cost JAG R1.5 million to ramp up security at the museum.

“The works owned by The Johannesburg Art Gallery do not only belong to the gallery, but to the public and are, as such, public treasures. We implore you to assist us in protecting and preserving our invaluable heritage,” Murdoch said.

“Therefore we are asking the public to come forward with any information that can help us find the stolen artworks.”

Members of the public can contact the gallery with any further information on 011 725 3130.

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