Museum press release, 14 June 2007
The Rocks Police are investigating the theft of a valuable 17th century work of art from the Art Gallery of New South Wales last weekend.
The art work by Frans van Mieris I titled ‘A cavalier (self portrait)’ was stolen from the Gallery between 10am and 12.30pm on Sunday 10 June.
Police established a crime scene and inquiries into the theft continue. CCTV cameras within the Gallery are being reviewed.
The Rocks Local Area Commander, Acting Superintendent Simon Hardman says police are urging anyone with any information about the theft to contact them.
Edmund Capon, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales said ‘I am deeply shocked. Well over a million people visit the Gallery each year and this is a very rare occurrence as the security measures at the Gallery are sound and proven. The work is a valuable and important artwork which was painted in 1657/59’.
The artwork is relatively small, approximately A3 in size, including the lacquered timber frame (30.7 x 26.7cm). It appears someone has expertly removed it from its mounting and taken it from the Gallery.
Someone must know about the theft or may have been in the area at the time and noticed someone acting suspiciously. Please contact The Rocks Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 with even the smallest bit of information.
Art Gallery of New South Wales media contacts:
Susanne Briggs (02) 9225 1791 or 0412 268 320
Claire Martin (02) 9225 1734 or 0414 437 588
IMAGE CREDIT: Frans van Mieris I, Leiden, Netherlands, 1635-81 A cavalier (self portrait) 1657/59, oil on oak panel, 20 x 16 x 1cm. Collection Art Gallery of New South Wales