Art theft in sub­ur­ban Auck­land

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - CA­TRIN OWEN

A prom­i­nent Auck­land artist has been left devastated af­ter $30,000 worth of paint­ings were stolen from his parked van.

Early on the morn­ing of April 20, Jimmy James Koura­toras’ van went miss­ing from the drive­way of his One­hunga home. Inside the van were three orig­i­nal art­works which were set to be sold.

Koura­toras is an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned artist hav­ing ex­hib­ited in New York, Los An­ge­les and Australia.

The day be­fore his van went miss­ing Koura­toras trans­ported the paint­ings from his stu­dio in West Auck­land to his home, stop­ping by Pon­sonby to fin­ish a mu­ral.

‘‘I believe some­one must have seen it there and seen through the glass.

‘‘I went home that night and in the morn­ing my paint­ings were gone and my van,’’ he said.

Koura­toras be­lieves he was tar­geted as there were three other cars and a work van in the drive­way.

The three paint­ings were com­mis­sioned for clients and the prof­its were sup­posed to help fund the solo father-of-three’s trip to Crete with his chil­dren.

‘‘These works were go­ing to fund a trip for my­self and my chil­dren back to my father’s coun­try of Crete to go and see where their home­land is,’’ he said.

The paint­ings are all large, vi­brant and colour­ful pieces of work.

Koura­toras said a lot of love had gone into the works which each took up to three months to com­plete.

‘‘Art is a 24/7 job for me and to have it ripped out from me is soul de­stroy­ing,’’ he said.

‘‘When you know these people are still out there it cre­ates a lot of doubt and sus­pi­cion.’’

The van also con­tained per­sonal be­long­ings inside in­clud­ing a surf­board and skate­boards.

Koura­toras said he had listed his paint­ings on the in­ter­na­tional reg­istry of stolen paint­ings.

‘‘They can take away my paint­ings, but they can’t take away what I’m go­ing to do next. It hurts but it’s not go­ing to stop me.’’

The stolen van is a navy blue Mit­subishi Del­ica with roof racks.

Koura­toras said po­lice had been made aware of the theft.

Painter Jimmy James Koura­toras.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.