Museum Security Network

£50,000 of artwork stolen from studio

£50,000 of artwork stolen from studio…

London Evening Standard/London

A ‘professional’ gang of thieves stole more than £50,000 of paintings
in a burglary at a gallery.

American artist Haidee Becker had four canvases taken from her studio-
cum-gallery in Archer Street, Soho.

Becker, 60, who has work in the National Portrait Gallery, said she
believed the thieves could have stolen the paintings to order.

“They must have been professionals. They knew what they were doing.
They took two of the largest paintings, ones that had been published
in a catalogue,” she said.

“There were other framed paintings that look more valuable, but they
chose to steal paintings that had to be removed from their stretchers
and then probably rolled up before they could be taken away. They also
took out all the paintings from the store room and looked through them

“It’s very easy to destroy a painting if you don’t know what you are
doing and they clearly did.”

The stolen paintings are Red Slippers (valued at £25,000), Blue
Delphinium-Indian Yellow (£12,000), Brown Vase-Pink Tulips (£15,000)
and Mandy (£5,000).

Becker said she was most saddened by the loss of Red Slippers (2007)
which is a portrait of her daughter Rachel.

“I’ll never be able to do that one again as Rachel was 17 then and she
is not the same person any more,” she said.

The artist is working on portraits of Mark Rylance and the rest of the
cast of hit play Jerusalem between performances at the Apollo

She only moved into the premises – a former massage parlour which was
closed by police – four months ago. It is opposite her son, Jacob
Kenedy’s restaurant Bocca di Lupo.

Her group portrait of the kitchen staff is a centrepiece at the

A Met Police spokeswoman said officers from Westminster Burglary Squad
were investigating the break-in.

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