Sculptures were stolen from the Curious Creature exhibition in the Rust-en-Vrede Art Gallery and Clay Museum in Durbanville, Cape Town, over the past weekend.

The exhibition is a part of the Ceramics South Africa National Exhibition that showcases works by various local sculptors.

One of the participating sculptors, Denise Reich reported the incident on social media, sharing in her post that two sculptures she had made (one in collaboration with another artist) which were part of the ‘Tea with Alice in Africa’ installation in the exhibition had been stolen.

“My MAD HATTER sculpture as well as the CHESHIRE MEERKAT (a collaboration between Mary Simons and me) WERE STOLEN!,” she said.

The pieces reportedly weighed about 30kg each, and Reich exclaimed, “How these heavy works … could have been spirited away over a fence is a mystery!.”

Both sculptures are together estimated to be worth more than R20 000, as Reich informed TimesLIVE that the ‘Cheshire Meerkat’ was on sale for R5 000 while the ‘Mad Hatter’ was going for R18 000.

Reich told TimesLIVE it was hard to believe these items were stolen.

“These sculptures were stolen from the garden at the exhibition. They were taken over the weekend, when the place is locked up. They must have lifted them over the fence, it is still a mystery to us,” she said.

A staff member at the Rust-en-Vrede gallery also expressed their disbelief of the theft to TimesLIVE.

“We are shocked. It is the first time something like this has happened at the gallery.”

Investigations have been opened; meanwhile, the exhibition is still running.

Picture: Facebook/ Delise Reich

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about social issues, the environment and current affairs.