The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, October 25, 2014


Four paintings stolen from the Pretoria Art Museum found in South Africa cemetery
Police in South Africa said Monday that robbers posing as visitors to an art museum stole more than $2 million worth of art including "Street Scene" from an exhibit near the country's capital. AP Photo/The City of Tshwane.

By: Jon Gambrell, Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP).- An informer's tip led South African police to a private cemetery Tuesday where they found four paintings hundreds of miles away from where they had been stolen from a museum in the capital, authorities said.

The tip is the latest twist in a heist that saw $2 million worth of art stolen Sunday from the Pretoria Art Museum by pistol-wielding thieves posing as eager students with their teacher. One oil painting of a South African township streetscape by artist Gerard Sekoto remains missing.

A canine officer received a tip from an informer Tuesday that led him to a private cemetery in Port Elizabeth, a city about 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) from Pretoria, said Brig. Marinda Mills of the South African Police Service. There, under a bench near a memorial wall with plaques naming the dead, officers found four of the missing five pieces of art, she said.

Mills said police had started to verify that the paintings found, all in good condition, were the originals.

"From a layman's perspective, it appears to be the missing art," she said.

No arrests have been made, but officers continue to investigate in the area in hopes that the other stolen painting may be nearby, Mills said. The missing Sekoto painting, an oil pastel on canvas image of township life, is worth about $800,000, authorities say.

The theft Sunday at the Pretoria Art Museum saw robbers calmly pay for tickets and ask a curator to show them specific paintings at the gallery before they pulled out pistols and forced all others to the ground, officials said. They tied up the curator and others before collecting the paintings they previously asked about, officials said.

The robbers left behind another oil painting showing two musicians because they were not able to fit the painting inside their getaway car, a silver sedan, authorities said. The thieves left as private security guards at the museum drew close to them.

The museum closed Monday for the week and removed its most valuable remaining possessions for safekeeping. Authorities say they now plan to increase security to prevent thefts there. However, the video surveillance cameras at the museum had stopped working on Thursday, city spokesman Pieter de Necker said.

Violent crime and murders remain common in South Africa, but high-profile art thefts are not as common. In February 2011, thieves stole four small, limited-edition prints by South African artist William Kentridge from a gallery in Johannesburg. Thieves also have targeted bronze statutes in other South African museums, with authorities believing they are actually then sold for their scrap metal value.

Art theft is the third most lucrative crime in the world, after drugs and illicit arms sales, according to Interpol and the FBI. However, selling famous works remains difficult for criminals either locally where the theft happened or abroad, authorities say. Despite the challenges, estimates suggest there are billions of dollars made in stolen art sales annually across the world.



Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.





Today's News

November 14, 2012

Seminal, large-scale masterpiece by Rothko fetches $75.1 million at Sotheby's in New York

Auction of works from the Andy Warhol Foundation fetches over $17 million at Christie's New York

Rule Britannia: Details of Christie's Modern British Art Evening Sale in December announced

Tate takes a look at the dynamic relationship between performance and painting from 1950 to the present day

The Duc D'orléans Breguet Sympathique will lead Sotheby's Important Watches & Clocks Sale

Four paintings stolen from the Pretoria Art Museum found in South Africa cemetery

Christie's France to offer the Henri-Georges & Ines Clouzot Collection in December

Irish Museum of Modern Art announces donation of a set of fifty-two Mexican prints

Auction of David Stickelber Estate at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers exceeds high estimate

Louvre, High, Crystal Bridges, and Terra Foundation announce multi-year American Art collaboration

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago announces new Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator Naomi Beckwith

Viking hoard of swords form cutting edge of Bonhams Arms & Armour Sale in London

Bonhams Hong Kong to offer The Paul Braga Collection of snuff bottles on 24 November

The Book of Kells by Bernard Meehan published by Thames & Hudson

Locust Projects presents "Soul Manufacturing Corporation" by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates,

Ricardo Rendón's first solo exhibition in New York opens at Vicky David Gallery

Cantor Arts Center presents acclaimed Christian Marclay work Video Quartet

A record-breaking watch auction at Christie's Geneva

A re-discovered monumental 1851 exhibition center piece Surtout de Table emerges from history at auction

Laumeier Sculpture Park receives major work by Ernest Trova as gift from Estate of Grace Brod

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site