Iol news has reported that three armed robbers have taken five paintings worth close to $2 million from the Pretoria Art Museum in South Africa. While not as brazen as the axe wielding motorcycle gang that robbed a jewelry store in a North London mall seen below,
the three perpetrators of the Pretoria theft were reported as paying their admission fee and then pointing a gun at the museum attendant and demanding a list of paintings. The attendant was then bound with wire while the thieves escaped in a silver Toyota Avanza. The thieves were said to have left behind a valuable painting by Irma Stern, Two Malay Musicians because it would not fit into their getaway car. The stolen paintings consist of another painting by Stern, Fishing Boats (1931), Gerard Sekoto’s Street Scene, Maggie Laubser’s Cat and Petunias (1936), Hugo Naudé’s Hottentot Chief, and J.H. Pierneef’s Eland and Bird (1961).
Unfortunately for the Pretoria Museum, the security cameras were not working leaving some to speculate that it might have been an inside job.
In a bizarre twist, iol has reported in a follow up piece that the prime suspect as the mastermind behind the whole theft was a prominent South African contemporary artist. No name was given and the suspect’s name was received via phone from the crime tips hotline.