Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stolen Art Watch, Sydney Art Heist Friends/Help/Rivals Did It !!!

$2m Sydney art heist: 18 paintings stolen from exclusive suburb

Eighteen paintings that police say are worth up to $2 million have been stolen from a house in an exclusive Sydney suburb.

Police said artwork by Charles Blackman, Tim Storrier and Arthur Streeton were taken from a house in New Beach Road, Darling Point, between Saturday and Tuesday.

Rose Bay crime manager, Detective Inspector John Maricic, said the theft was reported on Tuesday evening when the owners, believed to be a couple, returned home.

There were signs of forced entry and police believed two people were involved, he said. It appeared the thieves knew "what they were after", Detective Inspector Maricic said.

"Certainly the owner is upset," he said.

Some paintings were cut out of their frames while others were taken with their frames, he said.

The paintings had been displayed throughout the house, police said in a statement earlier.

The thieves also made off with two 81-centimetre television sets and telephones.

Randi Linnegar, director of the Australian Commercial Galleries Association, said more needed to be done by federal and local governments, police, art galleries and collectors to track lost artwork.

"There seems to have been a number of thefts and a suggestion of fakes over the last year particularly in the field of visual art.

"Is it saying that art is becoming more in the forefront of desirable things to have that can be resold under the table?"

Veteran art dealer Denis Savill said he did not believe the burglars went to the home just to steal the paintings, as they were "minor works by the artists".

"It's not a serious collection by eastern suburbs' standards.

"Most thieves are not educated people ... It won't be stolen-to-order because there's nothing in there you want."

He said the poor economic climate meant the paintings would not be worth even $1 million if they were sold.

"There's not a huge amount of value in them in the real sense in auction right now. So you couldn't get rid of them quickly.

"If a man was to walk those round an auction room in the next three months, he'll be very sadly disappointed at the return. It won't be anything like the police are quoting."

Police were investigating the possibility the artworks had already been sold, possibly overseas.

Police were appealing for information, especially from anyone in the art world, he said.

They called for anyone who saw any "suspicious behaviour" on the street between Saturday and Tuesday, or had any information about the sale of the paintings, to phone them on Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

"I understand that these pieces are all quite unique and should attract attention if being sold through galleries or to private collectors," Detective Inspector Maricic said.

Originally 17 paintings were reported missing but Detective Inspector Maricic confirmed a painting entitled Voyeur by Martine Emdur was also stolen.

The 18 paintings:

Victoria and Moonlight, Charles Blackman

Dreamer in the Glen, David Boyd

Nasturtiums, Iris and Blue Vase, Criss Canning

Tree of Life, John Coburn

The Crimson Scarf, Janet Cumbrae Stewart

The Girl in White, Robert Dickerson

The Red Gown, Judy Drew

The Red Silk Robe, Judy Drew

Wild Orchids, Pro Hart

Rita of the Seventies, Norman Lindsay

Seated Nude, Norman Lindsay

Gloria, Norman Lindsay

Tug Boat, Williamstown Port, John Perceval

Adieu Australia, Garry Shead

Capricorn Haze, Tim Storrier

Little Blue Bay, Sirius Cove, Sydney, Arthur Streeton

Nude with Blue Drape, Dora Lynell Wilson

Voyeur, Martine Emdur


PROPERTY developer Peter O'Mara believes the theft of 18 paintings from his Darling Point home had been planned for when he was abroad.

In an exclusive interview, the 57-year-old said it was a mystery how the thieves escaped with the large artworks, valued at around $2 million, without attracting attention.

"It's a gut feeling, but the whole thing had to be set up - I think it's been set up for a while," he said. "Not many people knew the artworks were here. You can't exactly see them from the road."

Mr O'Mara said the paintings, which included works by David Boyd, Pro Hart, Norman Lindsay, John Perceval, Arthur Streeton and John Coburn, represented a lifetime of collecting.

Burglars forced their way inside the waterfront building, Elandra on New Beach Rd, which has a video intercom at the street-level entry and requires a pass to operate the elevator. Mr O'Mara said.

Art Hostage Comments:

Remember the art theft from the NSW Gallery of the Frans van Mieris (1635-81) A Cavalier ?

Well, Art Hostage had a lead that would have led to its recovery. Unfortunately the man in charge of the recovery Michael Maher would not pay any fee or agree to any fee for services rendered, or any reward. At that point Art Hostage walked away.

See backstory:

First of all Art Hostage got a lead in 2008 a year after the Cavalier was stolen.

Contacted by Greg and Nicole,(German Swiss), Art Hostage put out feelers to see what was on offer for the recovery of the Cavalier painting.

Art Hostage enquired with Police Officers Jeroen Huisman and also Police Officer Gavin McKean about a fee for the services of Art Hostage.

Art Hostage was told to contact Michael Maher who works as the investigator for the New South Wales Govt Insurance arm and who is tasked with the recovery of the Cavalier.

Art Hostage was told in no uncertain terms by Mike Maher there were no fee's, no reward, Nada, zero.

With those words ringing in his ears, Art Hostage withdrew.

Art Hostage finds it strange Edmund Capon is commenting about the lost Cavalier as the NSW Gallery was paid out in full, $1.4 million and have gone on to purchase further artworks with the insurance money.

The Cavalier is now owned by the NSW Govt Insurance arm and will not be returned to the NSW Gallery if recovered.

This story leaked in the press is designed to smoke out the Cavalier, but of course that is academic as the truth is already posted on Art Hostage from years passed.

Now it seems the Cavalier is back on the radar and Art Hostage warns those who may be suckered into this not to start whinging when they don't get any reward, don't complain when they are arrested handing back the Cavalier.

Just give a location where the Cavalier can be located, PLEASE do not be in the same Post/Zip code, let alone the same room as the Cavalier when it is recovered, if you do, you WILL be arrested.

Still, if money is not your motive contact Michael Maher below:
PH: 9977 1544 FAX: 9977 1983
Sydney Australia


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