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Downham Market artist Peter Seymour has portrait painting stolen from shed

An 84-year-old artist has been left frustrated after an opportunistic thief stole a painting from his home.

Peter Seymour, who lives in Downham, is unsure when the piece of art went missing – but believes it was at some point in the past fortnight.

He had recently completed the oil painting, which depicts a portrait of a “beautiful young local woman”.

Peter Seymour had a painting stolen from him
Peter Seymour had a painting stolen from him

It was hanging in his outside shed at the time to dry, and Mr Seymour thinks it was snatched by someone who noticed it was unlocked.

He combed his home for days to make sure he had not misplaced it himself – but is now convinced it was taken unlawfully, and hopes to raise awareness of the theft.

“Someone has thought, ‘Oh, I will try my hand here’, and grabbed the first thing they could find,” Mr Seymour said.

An outline drawing of the painting stolen from artist Peter Seymour
An outline drawing of the painting stolen from artist Peter Seymour

“I suppose that one should feel somewhat flattered that the work was considered worthy of being stolen, but I did find the loss a somewhat emotional setback to my usual creative enthusiasm.

“Whenever it appears, it is going to be a poison pen for anyone trying to sell it somewhere.”

Mr Seymour has not officially lodged a complaint with the police, believing the time that has elapsed since the theft would make it a near-futile exercise.

Instead, he hopes that by sharing an outline drawing of the portrait, he can alert people who may potentially spot it being sold at a nearby market.

The painting measures 15” by 19”, and shows the woman looking over her right shoulder.

“I couldn’t believe, for a start, that it had disappeared,” Mr Seymour added.

“It had been hanging around for weeks, because you have to wait quite a few weeks for it to dry obviously.”

However, the artist is refusing to let the theft get him down.

While searching for this painting, he is still putting a selection of his work on display at an exhibition at the Purfleet Pantry in Lynn, close to the Southgates roundabout.

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