Thieves dump R12m Stern painting on road

2012-11-12 09:56

Johannesburg - Thieves who had made off with paintings worth millions of rands dumped one of them, a R12m Irma Stern, on the pavement as they were making their getaway, Beeld reported.

The gang managed to make off with a R9m Irma Stern and a Gerard Sekoto, worth R7m.

They also made off with Maggie Laubser's Cat and Petunias, valued at R1m, JH Pierneef's Eland and Bird, valued at R45 000, and Hugo Naude's Hottentot Chief, worth R300 000.

A sixth painting, Irma Stern's Two Malay Musicians, valued at R12m, was dumped on the pavement outside the museum after the robbery on Sunday morning, apparently because the criminals were unable to fit it into their getaway car, a silver Toyota Avanza.

According to museum staff, the thieves arrived with a "shopping list" of what they wanted, and demanded to be given specific paintings.

After holding staff member Dawood Khan at gunpoint, they took out their list, and demanded to know where the paintings were.

Museum curator Dirk Oegema said the robbery would be discussed at an urgent management meeting on Monday.

Art expert Stephen Welz said the theft was a tragedy, but that he was puzzled by it, as famous works of art were so well documented that it was nearly impossible to sell them, locally or abroad.

  • - 2012-11-12 10:04

    i sure do have an appreciation for art, and good art at that, but sometimes wonder if those prices are not just OTT, exclusively for the "nose in the air, i'm better than you fraternity" oh well, sigh, should have, could have, would have :P

      jonathancfarrell - 2012-11-12 10:12

      What is the point of stealing these paintings when 1. They will get blacklisted and 2. No auction house will buy them anyway. Stupid dumb@sses

      scouter.fourone - 2012-11-12 10:20

      They 'dumped' the most valuable item - that's a bit like hearing that the long standing girlfriend you just dumped has won the Lotto. Gut wrenching I should imagine!

      claudia.meads - 2012-11-12 10:49

      Only one 'crime' worse than the one committed - ie the quality of the journalism (in the leading article) - can anybody tell, from the script, which Gallery it is (other than that it is in Johannesburg)..??

      aj.coetzee.9 - 2012-11-12 11:31

      These paintings are priceless. You could never afford a Michelangelo either but does that make it OTT? These are some of the most accomplished and beloved artists and their work is very special. Too sad to even mention the type of muppet who would dump it on the sidewalk.

      Rabbler.Rouser - 2012-11-12 11:46

      @ Claudia_Meads. An earlier report stated that it was the Pretoria Art Museum. This is obviously a contract job. It seems like the thieves did not know what they were stealing (other than a few paintings). The works were stolen on the instructions of somebody else, hence the "shopping list". These are well known paintings and therefore cannot simply be sold on the open market. So it was probably some collector.

      petr.valcik1 - 2012-11-12 13:25

      From what I have read in a previous article - it was the gallery in Pretoria which is in Arcadia. - 2012-11-12 13:35

      my comment here is that van gogh finished painting the sunflowers, he hoped to get 50 dollars for it, 100 years later, after his death, it is sold for in the vicinity of 80 million dollars, so the artists get screwed, and the collectors and gallery owners etc make the money, it's rather sickening imo... what has brought about the huge disparity in art from a "well known" to joe soap selling his paintings beside the road... who determines what is succesful and what not... the artworks are priceless, and the prices are still OTT imo - celebrity and status farce, like so many others - sad

  • lincoln.park.5 - 2012-11-12 10:06

    SA criminals are watching too many American series lately i see...

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-11-12 10:08

    The paintings are headed for Zumas compound or one of the Ministers refurbished homes lol!!!

      riotousr - 2012-11-12 10:30

      And because my house has been designation a National Key Point for security purposes no one will ever be able to photograph it to show to the outside world. It is mine and mine alone.

      luytster - 2012-11-12 10:43

      Being smuggled out of the country in a cadre ministers diplomatic bag as we speak.

  • john.m.mcdowall - 2012-11-12 10:08

    The obscenely priced so called work of art has actually finished up where it should have been in the first place.

      maria.roth.589 - 2012-11-12 12:55

      You have just told everybody your place in society sir. You have also betrayed your level of education and culture. I suppose you think your ignorance should be lauded. Lol

      mike.clery - 2012-11-12 16:38

      @maria.roth.589 - Disagreeing with the opinion that Stern's works are great art is no indication of education or "culture". I suppose you're also one of the suckers who believe that Jackson Pollock's paint dribblings are worth the millions of dollars price tags too.

      EricksonTL - 2012-11-12 23:31

      This place crawling thick and heavy with spider experts.

  • dave.elmore.5 - 2012-11-12 10:09

    Zoomer wanting to decorate his new residence?

  • teri.bosmanbekker - 2012-11-12 10:11

    At least they did not kill anyone or hurt anyone whilst stealing these paintings.

  • eva.walle.75 - 2012-11-12 10:16

    Now they're raiding our museums ...

      shengeboy - 2012-11-12 10:21

      hahahaha what's next, women, homes?

  • kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-12 10:17

    Private collector. Paintings will not go on open market.

      riotousr - 2012-11-12 10:31

      But they may be destined for one of the many National Key Point.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-12 12:00

      You are so right. There is a web page somwhere, with dozens of listed paintings shown that have been stolen. They never advertise this fact. Those paintings are more then likely out of the country already. They take them out of the frames, pull another painting over this, reframe and bubble wrap....easiest thing to take through the airport. The buyers will never show anyone, as they simply want them for themselves, or to sell to other collectors. Its a murky world at best.

      maria.roth.589 - 2012-11-12 13:59

      Yes sadly these paintings were bought for the museum for the edification and enjoyment of the South African public and now some selfish nincompoop is going to hang them in his cellar for his personal enjoyment which should at least keep them from harm. Unless of course they have been stolen by some numbskull who believes he can sell them.

  • shengeboy - 2012-11-12 10:19

    inside job

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-12 12:01

      Yup....follow the money....

  • Mzondi Wakwa Maqina - 2012-11-12 10:23

    Doesn't the hype behind the stealing of the painting make it more expensive? I think everything will be recovered and they will be popular and more in demand. Good tactic from the gallery!

  • riotousr - 2012-11-12 10:28

    There is something we call inside job. It is a crime that is perpetrated from within the affected organisation. It is a bunch of financial artists disguised as armed robbers. Ask me.

  • stephen.j.dickson.3 - 2012-11-12 10:29

    Dumb,imbecilic wogs.....bottom line.

  • bev.armstrong.372 - 2012-11-12 10:34

    Probably for a private collector in the Far East.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-12 10:46

    a painting worth R12m should be burned...

      barry.mcbride - 2012-11-12 10:55


      aj.coetzee.9 - 2012-11-12 11:31

      you should be burned you imbecile

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-12 10:47

    A stolen retrieved painting isn't worth more lol

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-12 10:51

    Scouter jys dom my tjom.... a crime is a crime what's she ment is that she is relieved that the crime was not a violent crime resulting in death cause it seams like Uhuru is part of everyday you can't rob a white man without killing him nowadays... does that makes sense? Oh well at least I tried.

      matshane.seleko - 2012-11-12 12:07

      Go on.Encourage crime with your silly,obscene statements.Your comment is not solving anything.Only doing more harm.And don't think you won't be affected,either directly or indirectly.

  • george.mnisi.31 - 2012-11-12 10:52

    Come to think of it. The paintings were insured. I bet they were not selling so the gallery staged this crime to benefit from an insurance claim. Busted.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-12 12:03

      They were not for sale......MUSEUM ????????

      Adil Smit - 2012-11-12 12:13

      Quite possible - even if it's displayed in a museum it belongs to someone.

      edna.gee.5 - 2012-11-12 13:07

      the painting belongs to the state museum thus it couldn't be sold. In fact just stole from people. Museums are there to make art available on view for all, now no-one will get to see these paintings.

      maria.roth.589 - 2012-11-12 14:08

      Oh my word. So you thought you thought but you didn't. Lol

  • Sharon - 2012-11-12 11:02

    The article was written in Johannesburg. The Museum is actually in Hatfield Pretoria. You have to be psychic to get the real story.

      narike.lintvelt.9 - 2012-11-12 11:51

      Tx Sharon. I also thought it would have been nice if they'd bothered to name the museum. Surely that's covered in Journalism 101

      Rabbler.Rouser - 2012-11-12 12:06

      Actually, it's in Arcadia, Pretoria. An earlier report stated that it was the Pretoria Art Museum.

  • samuelk.mohlakoana - 2012-11-12 11:13

    haibo hw many attacks hav taken place in museaums? news24 report earlier dat the paintings worth R10m and de get away vehicle was caddy,bt now dey worth R12 million and de getaway vehicle is avanza nw. Whic is de real one?

  • Adil Smit - 2012-11-12 12:11

    A museum with such expensive paintings - security guards/ security cameras/ panic buttons?

  • Zengfuey - 2012-11-12 13:37

    Damn, the person who commissioned the theft must be very very upset.

  • john.m.mcdowall - 2012-11-12 14:11

    to marie roth, what the hell would you know? you egotistical ecentric.

  • flysouth - 2012-11-12 14:29

    Utterly pathetic reporting - there is not a single mention of the name of the museum in this piece - unbelieveable!

  • john.m.mcdowall - 2012-11-12 16:43

    A six year old could paint better than that. It is appalling that such a piece of crap can command such a price on the open market. What a pathetic world we live in. Wait for the maria.roth???? comment.

  • Xolani Siphesihle-romeo Dludla - 2015-07-22 17:39

    Lol I can without fear say this is one of the only crimes I can tell you those paintings are not in Inkandla...JZ don't roll like that

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