Gallery print stolen and another one damaged

ANOTHER valuable piece of art has been stolen from a gallery.

Thieves struck at an exhibition by South Coast Artists held at St Mary-in-the-Castle on Hastings seafront.

And, just weeks after the Observer reported a sculpture valued at more than £2,000 was stolen from F-ISH Gallery, a £150 screen print was taken.

The work, by Marylyn Edwards, was one of six pieces which had been produced based on William Hogarth’s A Harlot’s Progress.

Other pieces from the same collection were damaged – with organisers of the show convinced the thief was trying to remove a second print from its backing before being disturbed and making off with the first print.

Overall the damage to frames and paintings could run into more than £400. The artist said she was upset to find her work damaged and missing.

She said: “The subject is a difficult one about young girls being seduced by men, drink and money, an issue currently having a high profile in the media.

“So we did think it could have been done by someone upset by this. But the print that has gone was the most popular in the series and is influenced by the work of Banksy.

“There was a fashion show in St Mary-in-the-Castle that night so maybe someone just took a fancy to it.”

The piece (shown right) was part of limited print run, and had then been altered – making it unique.

Hastings Police warned art fans to remain on the look-out for anyone offering pieces for sale.

PC Duncan Cleverley said: “The thief may try to sell this picture on to one of the town’s many art or antique shops and we would like to hear from anyone who has been offered it.”