South Africa – Spike in art theft creates ugly picture

The recent theft of four works on paper by William Kentridge from the David Krut Gallery has shaken the South African art world, proving once again that the high price art attracts provides encouragement for a roguish and daring criminal element.

Last weekend, on a sunny Saturday morning, Taryn Hackket was going about her managerial duties at the David Krut Gallery on Jan Smuts when a curious couple entered the gallery. Also in attendance was David Krut himself, conducting business with a colleague.

With the dimensions of the rectangular gallery measuring approximately 8m x 25m, the presence of people could hardly go unnoticed. Yet with their backs turned for what Hackett describes as an instant, the couple allegedly managed to lift and conceal four small editioned works from a print cabinet near the back of the gallery.

With her suspicion aroused by the faint whisper of archival tissue paper, Hackett turned her attention back to the couple as they walked calmly to the door and watched as they casually smoked a cigarette just up the street.

In a seemingly unrelated case, four different prints, also by Kentridge and still registered in David Krut’s inventory, were discovered at a Pretoria auction house.


Spike in art theft creates ugly picture – Newspaper – Mail.

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