Suspect in ‘theft of still-wet painting worth $12,000’ created by an award-winning artist to see at bushfire victim benefit auction is arrested
- A thief has been arrested after allegedly stealing Laura Jones’ $12,000 artwork
- The painting of native flowers was taken from a Sydney studio last Friday night
- It was made to be auctioned off for a bushfire relief fundraiser on Wednesday
A thief who stole a still-wet painting worth up to $12,000 set to be auctioned off for bushfire victims has been arrested.
The painting of native flowers by artist Laura Jones was stolen from a photography studio at Mascot in southern Sydney on Friday just days out from a charity event.
The work was being stored ahead of the HOME Bushfire Relief Art Auction on Wednesday, aiming to raise funds for the Australian bushfire crisis.
Police arrested a 24-year-old Balmain man in Marrickville around 10.30am on Thursday following an investigation.
Award-winning artist Laura Jones’ (pictured) valuable painting has been returned after it was allegedly stolen last week
He has been charged with larceny more than $5,000 and was refused bail to appear in court on Friday.
The painting, with an estimated value of $10,000 to $12,000 was recovered and has since been returned to Ms Jones.
The alleged thief told staff at the photography studio he was ‘looking for something to decorate their home’ before walking out of the premises with the painting under their arm.
After the piece was allegedly pinched, Ms Jones launched an appeal online offering amnesty in return for her work so it could be donated to raise funds.
The painting of flowers, estimated to be worth $10,000-$12,000, was inspired by charred natives at family member’s Blue Mountains property which was badly hit by this season’s bushfires
The painting of ‘Flowering Gum and Burnt Banksia’ was inspired by the charred natives at a family member’s Blue Mountains property which was badly affected by the bushfires.
‘The fires have been so emotionally exhausting for everyone’s that been affected – even if you’re in the city and you’re suffering from bushfire smoke or if you know someone that you know got trapped or who’s house is gonna burn down or did burn down- it just hasn’t been the kind of Summer that we’re all used it,’ Ms Jones said.
Laura Jones is an award-winning artist including being named a 2019 finalist in Australia’s most lucrative art award- the Archibald.
Her works are usually priced around $60,000 but typically fetch about double the amount at auction.
Ms Jones appeared elated as she posed with for a photo of police when her artwork was returned