Theft of unique artworks 'baffling'

02 February 2017 - 08:37 By Jan Bornman
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The brazen theft of five unique pieces of art from a gallery in Norwood, Johannesburg, has left the owner baffled, as the thieves will struggle to sell the artworks.

Darren Neophytou, owner of Daville Baillie Gallery, said three armed men entered the gallery on Tuesday and held up his manager and a client.

"They targeted very specific works," Neophytou said. "It makes it seem as if they knew what they were after."

Neophytou said the robbers got away with five pieces valued at about R600000, which included two pieces from South African artist Richard Scott's pieces, titled Studio 29 and Studio 30, and two pieces in mixed media by graffiti-inspired artist Fringe, called Antediluvian I and Antediluvian II.

Neophytou said the fifth work was a smaller oil painting by Wakaba Mutheki, titled Trump.

"We've notified every gallery and the market is very small. Not only did they take highly noticeable works, the works are literally of the rarest that the artists have produced."

Police are investigating.