A treasured picture of a dog has been returned to its owner after an auction house recognised it thanks to the publicity of a Ringstead theft in the Lynn News.
The theft happened on Sunday, October 5, when the picture was taken from the foyer of the popular Art in the Hall exhibition at Ringstead Village Hall.
Taking the shine off an excellent weekend for the exhibition, the theft left artist and co-organiser of the exhibition, Alan Witley, disappointed.
He said: “I’m quite staggered that anyone would steal a painting from a village hall exhibition.”
The picture, called A Study of Teal, was of a well known and much loved local dog, called Teal, who died last year.
The picture was not for sale, but was featured in the entrance to the exhibition.
The original fine art reproduction was unusual as it is a black-and-white study with only the eyes in full colour.
It measured 12 inches x 16 inches and was in a silver frame.
Stories appeared in the Lynn News and other local newspapers, and thanks to this publicity the picture was recognised by an auction house in Great Massingham.
The team at the auction house passed it on to the police to it could be returned to its owner.
Mr Witley said: “It’s back on the wall and I’m pretty happy about that.
“I think it might have gone into a car boot sale, from what the police said, but I’m still trying to find out what happened to it and who took it.
“It was actually a computer-generated picture, so I have it saved on a file and could have reproduced it over a few days but the original had sentimental value and I’m glad to have it back.”
Art at the Hall is the brainchild of Ringstead artists Bryan Harford, Brian Woodford and Alan Witley, who plan to hold more exhibitions in future at the venue.
More than 100 pictures of numerous genres and varying media were on show throughout the weekend and the exhibition attracted visitors from as far afield as Dallas, New York and London.
The trio had previously held an exhibition back in August, called Art in Your Eye, which featured over 50 local artists showing 200 pictures.
The exhibition was an acclaimed success and attracted hundreds of art lovers to the village.