A bronze sculpture by key British pop artist Gerald Laing has been stolen from Scotland’s most popular gallery – the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
‘Dreaming’, worth an estimated £20,000, was arf-inched from the first floor of the museum on Sunday at around 4.30pm. And it wasn’t until museum staff conducted their routine evening checks that they noticed the artwork had gone missing. Another member of staff had seen the sculpture at 3.45pm, leaving a tiny 45 minute window for the art heist to have taken place.
A spokesman for the museum said: ‘Someone has stolen from the people of Glasgow – as with all of our collections, this work belongs to them’. ‘We are working with the police and other agencies and would appeal for the safe return of this work of art’, he added: ‘Thanks to the quick action of staff, we have been able to identify a short time frame where we believe the bronze was stolen – and are in the process of examining CCTV footage from across the museum to identify those responsible.’
The theft of metals and bronze works of art has been on the rise in recent years, to what police are now calling ‘endemic’ levels. And it looks like the theft of ‘Dreaming’ would have been motivated by nearly 13kg of bronze it’s made from rather than the artistic value of the piece. This is because the high profile nature of the artwork would make it extremely hard to sell.
The sculpture was last valued for insurance some 10 years ago at £5000 and is now estimated to be worth around £20,000. Officers from Strathclyde Police were called in by Glasgow Life, the body which runs the city’s museums and galleries, to investigate the theft. CCTV images from a number of areas within the museum are being examined for any potential clues as to the disappearance.
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