Three artworks stolen from Jhb gallery

2011-10-04 09:40
Johannesburg - The Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) has again been the target of thieves with the theft of three valuable bronze artworks.

The artworks King of the Universe by Ernest Ullman, Mourning Women by Sydney Kumalo and Peter Pan by Romano Romanelli were stolen from the contemporary art storeroom.

Staff at the gallery reportedly became aware of the break in last Sunday and after an inventory it became evident that three bronze sculptures had been stolen. Two other bronze sculptures were found wrapped on the floor.

The police have apprehended a suspect and further investigation is underway. The police are working with experts in the field to recover the stolen artworks.

 In January 2011 a rare Jules Dalou sculpture was stolen from the gallery, and has still not been recovered. Investigations regarding this sculpture have since been closed due to a lack of evidence.

Public treasures

According to Chief Curator Antoinette Murdoch, the museum has increased its security after the Dalou theft. "It is clear that not only are we increasingly the target of thieves but it is also likely that their methods will get more sophisticated."

According to experts it will cost JAG R1.5m to ramp up security at the museum.

"The works owned by The Johannesburg Art Gallery do not only belong to the gallery, but to the public and are, as such, public treasures. We implore you to assist us in protecting and preserving our invaluable heritage," Murdoch said.

"Therefore we are asking the public to come forward with any information that can help us find the stolen artworks."

Members of the public can contact the gallery with any further information on (011) 7253130.



  • daaivark - 2011-10-04 10:02

    This must have been quite a logistical feat. Bronze is heavy! Serious flaws in the security there.

      zaheer001 - 2011-10-04 10:09

      Inside job??

      artchef - 2011-10-04 10:34

      The works were small. Yes bronze is heavy, but a 10cm bronze can be carried by a child. But agreed, security needs to be looked at seriously.

      Charles N - 2011-10-04 13:28

      Get a Sangoma. Much cheaper than the R1.5m

  • NowOrNever - 2011-10-04 10:07

    Sure it will help if you post some photos of what they look like.

  • juan - 2011-10-04 10:14

    Melt ...melt...gone!

      Kiepies - 2011-10-04 10:40

      Ah well, there's more where melted down statues came from... KYK NOORD EN .... VOORT!

  • semaj - 2011-10-04 10:20

    Already melted down and sold for a fraction of the value. Where are we headed?

      Kiepies - 2011-10-04 10:43

      @semaj My sentiments exactly!! They Afrikanise everything - take something beautiful and turn it into scrap - just look at some cars, new and old how they modify them by doing backyard jobs, etc. and this is what they call evolving....

  • Kiepies - 2011-10-04 10:39

    Whats new and regarding artwork where case has been closed (wonderful) if its brass, maybe already sold or melted (God alone knows), so much for upliftment (theft) and education (easy money)......

      daaivark - 2011-10-04 11:12

      Bronze, lad, is NOT brass.

      Linda C - 2011-10-04 12:21

      Kiepies, you are racist and uneducated. Your sentence makes no grammatical sense!

      Daemos1 - 2011-10-04 12:33

      I thinnk Kiepeies is more dumba$$ than racist, but it's a thin line

  • artchef - 2011-10-04 10:54

    I also think people are missing the greater issue here. Why is government/council not investing in securing these artworks. If JAG has no money for security, the people that "owm" JAG need to be held accountable.

      daaivark - 2011-10-04 11:12

      Now that is the point.

      Linda C - 2011-10-04 12:22

      City of Joburg. need I say more.

      daaivark - 2011-10-04 14:28

      Nice one Linda C. FOr sure. They can use all that money from the overcharged electricy accounts. Millions wasn't it?

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