Shameless thieves steal coins from artwork on exhibition in Barking
- Credit: Archant
Thieves have stolen coins decorating paintings at an exhibition in Barking Library.
An artist has spoken of her devastation after shameless thieves stole coins used from her painting which were on exhibition in Barking Library.
The crooks swiped the one, two and 20 pence coins used by Desiree Ntolo which she considers her trademark.
The 60-year-old artist from Dagenham, has been building her collection of portraits since 2006 but within days of putting up the paintings, she noticed some of the coins were missing.
She said: “The day after I put up the pictures, I noticed that several paintings were hanging askew, and that two coins, a two and 20p, were missing from two pictures.
You may also want to watch:
“I replaced them and asked whether they had CCTV, and they did.”
The artist, who lives in the Becontree Estate, said she’d worried about homeless people discovering the coins and taking them.
- 1 Wates Residential wins contract to build 400 homes in Barking
- 2 Jailed: Dagenham man who took part in racist robbery which left man needing facial reconstruction
- 3 Barking and Dagenham gets ready to mark St George's Day
- 4 Meeting ex-banker London mayoral candidate Brian Rose
- 5 Barking & Dagenham girls on cloud nine after big opening win
- 6 Man fined £700 after throwing away cigarette outside Barking station
- 7 Barking mum: 'Wood falling from truck could have killed me or my kids'
- 8 Watch the moment Dagenham man attacks police officer with sword
- 9 Dagenham boss McMahon keen to build on back-to-back wins
- 10 Have your say on the future of the Barking and Dagenham Post
A visitors book and pen was also taken within the first week of opening, and she was forced to replace them with a ringbound book tied to the table.
“I feel very upset and disappointed,” she said.
“It took virtually a part of my soul to produce those pictures, and seeing them treated in such a manner is absolutely disheartening.”
Coins were taken from 15 paintings, which Ms Ntolo ended up taking down.
“It is no use me putting any new coins on the paintings while they are in Barking,” she said.
“This time I’ll frame all the pictures before exhibiting them again. I thought that if I offered them unframed, I could sell them for a lot cheaper than when framed.
“I intend to take them all down.”
Ms Ntolo’s paintings are all faces she’s seen in her head – except for one, a volcano she drew after seeing it on TV. They include portraits of her family, a self-portrait, and pictures of celebrities.
“These pieces mean everything to me,” she said.
A council spokesman said: “We regularly host free exhibitions in our libraries for everyone to visit and enjoy, so to hear an artist’s work has been damaged while on display is extremely disappointing.
“We take the allegation of vandalism and theft very seriously, and we are assisting the police as part of their investigation into the matter, however, as it is on-going we cannot comment any further.”
The exhibition closed on August 30.