An­tiques show is loved by col­lec­tors, cu­ri­ous...and crooks

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - NEWS -

It’s a comfy TV in­sti­tu­tion filled with gen­tle anec­dotes and quirky fam­ily heir­looms. But now a row over a pre-raphaelite paint­ing has prompted a sur­pris­ing warn­ing about the An­tiques Road­show – it is watched by crooks.

The paint­ing, which was stolen in 1988 af­ter be­ing fea­tured on the pop­u­lar TV pro­gramme, has now prompted one art ex­pert to is­sue a warn­ing about putting heir­looms on dis­play.

The paint­ing, Por­trait of Mary Emma Jones, is now at the cen­tre of a dis­pute as, af­ter it was sold at Christies in July, it emerged that it had pre­vi­ously been stolen.

It was taken more than 30 years ago – just days af­ter be­ing val­ued at £20,000 on the BBC show.

Jan Davey, the daugh­ter of the paint­ing’s late owner, said the fam­ily had been con­vinced it was taken be­cause “the week be­fore it had been on the TV.”

Spe­cial­ist art in­ves­ti­ga­tor Richard El­lis, the for­mer head of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice’s art and an­tiques anti-crime squad, said: “If you ap­pear on the show you need to make sure you have ad­e­quate pro­tec­tion be­cause you’re run­ning a flag up the mast to say, this is what I’ve got.

“When I was at the Yard it was al­ways stated that the An­tiques Road­show was what the crim­i­nals watched on tele­vi­sion, more to ap­pre­ci­ate what things were and their val­ues so that if they were in a house they would be able to recog­nise them.”

Por­trait of Mary Emma Jones

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