Paintings found at church

2012-11-14 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — Staff at the Pretoria Art Museum were overjoyed yesterday when four of the five paintings stolen on Sunday were found at a Port Elizabeth church.

The paintings, by some of the country’s leading 20th century artists, were found under a bench in the garden of remembrance at a Dutch Reformed church in the suburb of Sunridge Park, after a tip-off.

An informed source said a Port Elizabeth man was contacted about the pictures and immediately alerted police. Members of the dog unit recovered the paintings at about 12.30 am.

The recovered works are Irma Stern’s Fishing Boats (1931), Maggie Laubser’s Cat and Petunias (1936), JH Pierneef’s drawing Eland and Bird and Hugo Naudé’s Hottentot Chief.

“It is a huge relief for Pretoria and for art lovers worldwide and we were overjoyed when we heard the artworks had been found,” said Pieter de Necker, spokesperson for the mayor of Tshwane.

Museum curator Dirk Oegema said he would finally be able to sleep again.

De Necker said it was sad that Gerard Sekoto’s Street Scene, which is worth about R7 million, was not found, but said he was sure the police would do their best to track it down.

He said there would be talks today to decide when the pictures could be returned to Pretoria, where the museum is closed while security is improved.

The CCTV was not working when the paintings were stolen by three armed men, who had a list of the paintings they wanted.

Gavin Theart, the security guard at the church, said he didn’t hear or see anything odd before the paintings were found.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.