Thieves steal £20,000 worth of sculptures from Clerkenwell gallery by artist who sold work to Charles Saatchi
PUBLISHED: 16:29 29 October 2014 | UPDATED: 16:42 29 October 2014
Thieves made off with £20,000 worth of art from a Clerkenwell gallery in what staff are calling a “steal to order” attack.
Four sculptures by popular young artist Tim Ellis were carefully lifted from the Fold Gallery in Clerkenwell Close at about 9pm on Saturday after the burglars “destroyed” a magnetic code operated lock on a hidden side door.
The assailants left seven other sculptures by Ellis, whose work has been bought by the likes of Charles Saatchi, as well as all the other art in the gallery untouched.
Police are investigating the theft, but no arrests have been made.
Kim Savage, director at the Gallery, said: “Upon further inspection it appears the gallery was broken into for the sole purpose of obtaining certain sculptures on display from the Tim Ellis solo show. Four of the eleven sculptures were selected, each with a bold and common aesthetic.
“What convinced us this was a ‘steal to order theft’ was that none of the paintings, which hang like banners and would be easily transported, were touched.
“The gallery was left in good order and there was no damage to the remaining artwork. The thieves went to significant effort to gain access to the gallery, entering through a side door hidden from the street and using heavy equipment to prise and destroy the magnetic, code-operated lock.”
Ellis was recently been featured in a major publication on emerging talent by Thames and Hudson titled “100 Painters of Tomorrow” and has been shortlisted for the MAC International (Belfast) art prize – the winner of which is announced tomorrow.
The “Finding Comfort in an Unknown Future” exhibition has been regenerated after the thefts and will continue to run at the gallery until November 22.
Mr Savage said: “The sale value of the work taken comes close to £20,000, however the sculptures are displayed unsigned. This is a deliberate security decision, so as it stands they have no re-sale value.
“The gallery is very keen to retrieve the stolen works and is offering a substantial reward for any information that would lead to the recovery of the sculptures.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.