Thieves steal £20,000 painting in smash and grab raid at Belsize art gallery

This painting of the Venice Arsenal by Ceri Richards was stolen from Sylvester Fine Arts, in Belsize

This painting of the Venice Arsenal by Ceri Richards was stolen from Sylvester Fine Arts, in Belsize Lane - Credit: Archant

Police are appealing for information after thieves stole this £20,000 painting in an overnight raid at an art gallery in Belsize Village.

Andrea Sylvester at Sylvester Fine Art gallery in Belsize Lane. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Andrea Sylvester at Sylvester Fine Art gallery in Belsize Lane. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

The burglars smashed a small hole in the window of Sylvester Fine Art, in Belsize Lane, and lifted the painting out at around 3.15am on December 21.

Gallery director Andrea Sylvester said: “My husband was able to get there very swiftly after the break-in, as did the police. The thieves broke a small hole in the window and managed to extract a small but valuable painting.”

She said that the 30 x 40cm oil painting of the Arsenale in Venice, is by Ceri Richards and is priced at £20,000.

“To my best knowledge, the painting has not been sold before now because it came directly from the artist’s granddaughter for whom it was painted around 1962,” she said.

Silvester fine Art in Belsize Lane

Silvester fine Art in Belsize Lane - Credit: Archant


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Welsh modern artist Ceri Richards, who died in 1971, represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1962, a famous art exhibition which is held every two years in the city. The painting is one of two works of the Venice Arsenale, but depicted from different angles.

The painting has been listed on the art loss register, the world’s largest database of stolen art.

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Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact Holborn CID on 0208 733 6581 or via crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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