Museum removes paintings, beefs up security

2012-11-12 20:51

Pretoria - The Pretoria Art Museum was provisionally closed on Monday after an armed robbery in which paintings worth about R17.5m were stolen.

Mayoral spokesperson Pieter de Necker said the museum would re-open on November 20.

"The art museum has taken precautionary steps by removing other valuable pieces until the police have completed their investigation," he said.

"The city will tighten security at the museum."

De Necker said five art works were stolen from the museum's permanent collection on Sunday.

"Three men, under the pretence of being students and their art lecturer, asked to view specific pieces. After they were shown the paintings, they then tied up the museum official at gunpoint and took off with six paintings," he said.

"They left one painting [by] Irma Stern behind. Presumably because it was too big to fit into their [getaway] car."

The paintings stolen were: Maggie Laubser's Cat and Petunias (1936); Hugo Naude's Hottentot chief; JH Pierneef's Eland and bird (1961); Gerard Sekoto's Street Scene; and Irma Stern's Fishing boats (1931).

National and international art organisations had been notified about the robbery and had been forwarded details of the paintings, said De Necker.

He said the brazen robbery was a wake-up call that security needed to be tightened at museums across South Africa.

"It is unfortunate the CCTV cameras were not working this weekend. A fault was reported on Thursday and has been fixed today," said De Necker.

"Security at museums should be improved. This incident calls for extra measures to be implemented," he said.

The Pretoria Art Museum was manned by private security guards. On Sunday, three security officials were protecting the facility, said De Necker.

The Tshwane metro was providing counselling to the gallery's "traumatised" personnel.

The Democratic Alliance said it had repeatedly alerted the metro about the lack of adequate security measures at the Pretoria Art Museum.

Spokesperson Johan Welmans said the paintings stolen were irreplaceable.

"I have alerted the Tshwane metro about the lack of commitment towards this institution for a long time. The impression I got is that the Pretoria Art Museum is simply not a priority for the ANC-led Tshwane metro," he said.

"The DA has been concerned about the management of the museum for a long time. The reported value of R15m lost is irrelevant if one considers that this fine art is irreplaceable," said Welmans.

  • - 2012-11-12 21:06

    too little too late, the horse has bolted

      art5SA - 2012-11-12 22:00

      Koel is deur die kerk.... LOL!

      penny.stone.589 - 2012-11-13 00:33

      You've stolen the words right out of my mouth. Was going to say, a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted...

      tc.convulvulous - 2012-11-13 07:43

      Yes, the Horse has bolted! The country is tailspinning to tatters. We cannot entrust the ANC with this country's future nor can we trust them with the country's present. We know that the police will not recover/arrest anybody following this crime. But then, who still cares?

  • gordon.turner.37 - 2012-11-12 21:08

    Was that load bang the stable door slamming shut?

      art5SA - 2012-11-12 22:00

      Surely you meant LOUD... not LOAD?

  • grietvan - 2012-11-12 21:13

    how strange is it that the security system stopped working a few days before I am sorry this is such an inside job that it is laughable. The security cameras dont stop working and coincidently the museum gets robbed a few days later

      art5SA - 2012-11-12 22:01

      CADRE DEPLOYED "Security Guards" turned a blind eye.... CONVENIENTLY!

  • joe.smit.549 - 2012-11-12 21:17

    99% of theft is an inside job. Everybody knows that. Look at our Goverment. No difference!

  • george.pito - 2012-11-12 21:18

    For years they stuffed around with qoutes on security systems and waisted everybodies time and money on this. The stolen stuff probebly will be looked after better by whoever got it now. Less money for lazy people hanging around the museum now. Like anything else the ANC controls. The only way to improve the museums is to take it away from lazy ignorant people as is today.

      art5SA - 2012-11-12 22:03

      Waisted... Probebly... whoever... WASTED.... PROBABLY... and WHOM EVER... Tune in again tomorrow, at the same time... for another GRAMMAR and SPELLING LESSON!!!

  • george.pito - 2012-11-12 21:35

    De Necker is probably the problem. CCTV cameras not working, why, reported on Thursday what a coicindence. Or probably the cameras never worked. What can the cameras do all by itself what, who mans this anyway and when there was a fault with the cameras what did De Necker do as a counter measure. Nothing less work.

  • lwandile.sobantu - 2012-11-12 21:44


      art5SA - 2012-11-12 22:04

      Go donate some blood.... maybe it is INFECTIOUS!

      debduplessis - 2012-11-12 22:10

      or better still .... get a blood transfusion so that you dont pas that bloodline onto the generations still to come!

      art5SA - 2012-11-13 06:13

      lwandile.....DO NOT PRO-CREATE...!!!!

  • malcolm.williams.144 - 2012-11-12 22:12

    Shutting the stable door after the horses have bolted!

  • Mzondi Wakwa Maqina - 2012-11-12 22:43

    Inside job!!!

  • robert.doyle.712 - 2012-11-13 00:06

    Go search NKANDLA lol

      tc.convulvulous - 2012-11-13 07:45

      You may have a point!

  • maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-11-13 09:52

    The gates are closed AFTER the horse has bolted.

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