We reported last week that a bronze statue by the late Pop Artist gerald Laing was stolen from the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow,in a opportunistic robbery. Well a member of the public has now found the artwork. Strathclyde Police confirmed on Friday that an anonymous tip-off from a member of the public led to them finding the artwork near the gallery. Detective Constable Ian Thomson from West End Police Office said: ”We are continuing our inquiries to trace those responsible for the theft of the statue. I would ask that the person who contacted Police anonymously last night to get in touch again. “I would also like to thank the public for their help in ensuring that this work of art can now be returned to its rightful place; on show to the public.” George Redmond, chair of Glasgow Life, welcomed the recovery of the artwork. He said: “We’re delighted that this important artwork has been recovered so quickly and safely. Our staff are very much looking forward to having the bronze sculpture back where it belongs, at Kelvingrove.”
‘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’. 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. “Dreaming”, was purchased in 1981 and the museum is delighted at the outcome of what turned out to be a relatively short police investigation.