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Melville Art gallery robbed of R40 000 worth of art

MELVILLE – Hildegard is offering a reward of between R500 to R2 000 for the return of any of the stolen artwork. The amount of the reward will be dependent on the condition of the returned pieces and how many have been returned.

R40 000 worth of art stolen from the Avalon Art pop-up shop.

South African artist Hildegard van Heerden was heartbroken to wake up and discover that several art pieces were stolen from her home-based art gallery. According to Marc Strydom, Hildegard’s partner, the art was stolen on 21 August and a case has been opened with Brixton Police Station, which the station has confirmed.

Strydom is pleading with the public to help retrieve the art as it holds financial and, more importantly, sentimental value. He expressed, “Because its art, it’s very personal. Lots of hours went into it and it’s a really sad thing, we are just hoping to get our art back.” The total value of the stolen art – which was created by Hildegard, her parents and other well-known Melville artists – is around R40 000.

3) One of many artworks stolen from artist Hildegard van Heerden’s home on 21 August totalling a value of about R40 000. Photo: Supplied

The art was stolen while placed on display at the art gallery. Strydom explained, “The art stays on our veranda because it’s part of Hildegard’s pop-up shop art gallery, which is open on weekends and we think the robbers jumped the wall.”  He acknowledged that the space could have been more secure but they are in the process of beefing up security at the gallery.

All the artwork from the shop is mostly from Hildegard or her parents – Martin Wenkidu, who has exhibited internationally in New York, and mother Rae Wilmot. The shop is filled with beautiful, original artworks and hand-crafted items – a wonderful place to browse for gifts for any occasion. Originally from Hillcrest in KwaZulu-Natal, Hildegard studied fine art at Pietermaritzburg University. She has also lived in London, where she exhibited at the Battersea and Paper Leaf art fairs. Hildegard’s main artwork is hand-coloured printed intaglios, often embellished with gold or silver leaf and embossing. She has a range of work inspired by the Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt.

2) Rewards of between R500 and R2 000 have been offered for the return of artworks stolen from Hildegard van Heerden on 21 August in Melville. Photo: Supplied

Hildegard is offering a reward of between R500 to R2 000 for the return of any of the stolen artwork. The amount of the reward will be dependent on the condition of the returned pieces and how many have been returned. If you see any of the artworks on sale, please contact Hildegard van Heerden on 072 203 2273 or Marc Strydom on 082 822 2165.

Here are a few of the stolen items:

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