Joanie son’s stolen £30k paint­ing sold for £40... at car boot sale

The Mail on Sunday - - Femail - By Jonathan Pe­tre and John Bett

THE mys­te­ri­ous dis­ap­pear­ance of a £30,000 oil paint­ing by the artist son of Joan Collins has taken an­other strange twist – af­ter it turned up in a car boot sale.

The valu­able work was snapped up for just £40, af­ter the seller was per­suaded to knock £20 off its ask­ing price.

Alexan­der ‘Sacha’ New­ley’s pic­ture had gone miss­ing en route to the home of multi-mil­lion­aire en­tre­pre­neur and for­mer Lon­don may­oral can­di­date Ivan Mas­sow last sum­mer. But it has now been re­united with its owner af­ter gar­dener Lee Broad­way bought it at a car boot fair on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, from ‘a nor­mal bloke sell­ing the usual rub­bish out of a very av­er­age car’.

It was only when he got home that he spot­ted a le­gend on the back and re­alised what he had bought.

He said: ‘When I found out the true value, I was in shock.’ But when he re­ported it to po­lice, he found him­self em­broiled in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, with of­fi­cers tak­ing his DNA and fin­ger­prints. The 42-year-old fa­ther-of-two added: ‘If I had known the trou­ble it would cause me, I would have take it into the gar­den and burned it.’ The 4ft by 3ft piece, en­ti­tled The Card­play­ers ( Seven Deadly Sins), de­picts a group of un­savoury char­ac­ters, each repre- sent­ing a dif­fer­ent vice, around a gam­bling ta­ble. It went miss­ing along­side two self-por­traits some­where be­tween Mr New­ley’s New York apart­ment and Mr Mas­sow’s Sus­sex man­sion. Be­tween them, the works were val­ued at £50,000.

Mr New­ley, who had spent three years per­fect­ing the pic­ture, was left ‘in­con­solable’ by its loss.

He told The Mail on Sun­day last night: ‘When it went miss­ing I was ab­so­lutely crest­fallen and in shock and mourn­ing. At some point I ac­cepted it had gone, but I al­ways had faith it would resur­face at some point, though I didn’t know how long it would take or if I would still be alive. I am deeply in­debted to Lee, I re­ally am. I am send­ing him a thankyou gift. A less moral per­son might have tried to profit from it.’

Mr Broad­way said he bought the can­vas as a gift for a friend to hang in his shed.

Gay rights cam­paigner Mr Mas­sow, a friend of Mr New­ley and Dame Joan, said he was de­lighted the paint­ing had been re­cov­ered, and of­fered to do­nate £100 to a char­ity of Mr Broad­way’s choice as a thank-you.

Mr New­ley’s fa­ther, An­thony New­ley, shot to fame at 17 as the Art­ful Dodger in David Lean’s Oliver Twist and later co-wrote the ti­tle theme to the 1964 James Bond film Goldfin­ger. But he died in 1999 hav­ing squan­dered much of his for­tune. He was Dame Joan’s sec­ond hus­band and they were mar­ried for eight years.

RE­LIEF: Sacha New­ley and mum Joan Collins. Left: His stolen paint­ing

STATE OF SHOCK: Lee Broad­way and phone shot of the piece he bought

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