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AN ARTIST whose paintings were stolen from an exhibition is offering a ‘significant reward’ for their return.

Morgane Antoine had three of her latest works worth £4,000 in total on display at Rookesbury Park Manor in Wickham.

But burglars struck on Wednesday night, taking her work in a haul of 12 paintings and nine sculptures of wildlife.

Ms Antoine, a French wildlife artist, told The News she is offering a reward for their return.

She said: ‘I was on my way from France when I received the terrible news and I couldn’t believe it.

‘I had put a lot of time, energy and passion in these three stolen paintings, they were major pieces of my latest artwork series and I had great hopes for them.

‘For that reason I am willing to offer a significant reward for the safe return of my paintings.’

Her three paintings that were taken are:

n Pantanal Shadow – 20x30ins, acrylic on canvas of a black jaguar.

n Song of Ice – 16x32ins, acrylic on canvas of a pack of Arctic wolves howling under the Northern Lights.

n Contenders – 16x16ins acrylic on canvas of two fighting zebras.

Ms Antoine added: ‘It was devastating to get the news that my paintings were stolen.

‘It’s horrible and unthinkable.

‘We’re not Picasso or Dali or whatever, I just don’t understand why they took the pictures and what they are going to do with them.

‘I’m not sure my insurance is going to cover the work and even if it does I really want the pictures back.’

Some of her pieces took up to two months to complete.

Police are continuing to investigate the thefts.

The exhibition, held by Southern Nature Art, still went ahead with 95 artists displaying their work. It was due to close these evening.

Call police on 101.