Police are appealing for information after more than £160,000 worth of wildlife paintings were stolen in a burglary at Marwell Zoo.
Burglars broke into the gift shop of the Zoo based in, Owslebury, sometime between 6pm on Thursday, December 8 and 8.30am on Friday, December 9.
They stole 10 paintings and a pencil sketch by the Zoo’s artist in residence Pip McGarry who is a renowned wildlife artist and has a gallery there. The paintings are valued at £164,000 with one titled ‘Young Snow Leopard’ valued at £34,000.
Detective Constable Alex Hall who is investigating the crime said: ‘I am appealing for anyone who knows the whereabouts of these valuable works of art to contact me.
‘The sale of these paintings would have benefited the zoo as a proportion of any sale is donated to them’.
Mr McGarry said he was devastated at losing his artwork.
‘I am a self-taught artist with a lifelong passion for art and wildlife. Painting is also my livelihood and it’s a huge blow to lose these pieces, many of which were painted from photographs I’ve taken on safari in Tanzania and Botswana.’
‘I love exhibiting my work at Marwell and am proud of the long-standing relationship I have with the charity.’
Marwell Wildlife’s Chief Executive, James Cretney said the paintings represent months of hard work.
‘Art sales also contribute to Marwell’s extensive conservation work in the field,’ he said.
Anyone with information about the burglary or where the paintings may be is asked to call DC Hall in the Northern Investigation Team on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.