Art recovered in Port Elizabeth authentic

2012-11-13 18:33
(Picture: Algoa FM)

(Picture: Algoa FM)

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Cape Town - The four pieces of art recovered at a private cemetery in Port Elizabeth have been confirmed as the originals stolen from the Pretoria Art Museum at the weekend, an official said on Tuesday.

A forensic expert verified the artworks in Port Elizabeth, while experts at the art museum in Pretoria analysed pictures of the artworks, Tshwane mayoral spokesperson Pieter de Necker told News24.

The paintings were verified according to specific characteristics.

The recovered pieces are still with the police in Port Elizabeth, where investigations are ongoing.

Questioned as to why the paintings would have been taken to Port Elizabeth, De Necker didn't want to speculate.

"We do find it strange that the paintings were found in Port Elizabeth, especially with the harbour in that city. But nothing is impossible" he told News24.

Recovery

Brigadier Marinda Mills said the paintings were discovered by a member of the dog unit around 01:30.

"The officer was contacted by an informer in the morning. The [police] member went to the cemetery and found the paintings in a small private cemetery in Sunridge Park, behind the Dutch Reformed Church," said Mills.

Mills said the recovered paintings were Maggie Laubser's Cat and Petunias (1936); JH Pierneef's Eland and Bird (1961); Irma Stern's Fishing Boats (1931) and Hugo Naude's Hottentot Chief.

The painting still missing was Gerald Sekoto's Street Scene (1939), worth about R7m.

Mills said there was no obvious evidence of damage to the artworks.

The Pretoria Art Museum was provisionally closed following the Sunday morning armed robbery in which the paintings, together worth about R17.5m, were stolen.

Read more on:    irma stern  |  art
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