Thieves take art worth millions from Oxford college

Credit: Thames Valley Police

Annibale Carracci, ‘A Boy Drinking,’ c. 1580.

Three pictures worth millions of pounds have been taken from an Oxford college.

Thieves broke into the Christ Church Picture Gallery over the weekend.

They took Salvator Rosa’s A Rocky Coast, With Soldiers Studying A Plan, from the late 1640s, Anthony Van Dyck’s A Soldier On Horseback, circa 1616, and Annibale Carracci’s A Boy Drinking, circa 1580.

Credit: Thames Valley Police

Anthony Van Dyck’s A Soldier On Horseback

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Capps said no-one had been injured during the burglary.

He added: “The paintings which have been stolen are very high-value pieces dating back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

“The artwork has not yet been recovered but a thorough investigation is under way to find it and bring those responsible to justice.

“There will be an increased police presence in the area while officers and staff carry out enquiries.

“If you saw or heard anything suspicious in the area last night, please get in touch.

“Also, if you have any CCTV or other footage around the area that you think could help with the investigation, please share them with us.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the force on 101, or make a report online using the reference 43200087031, or anonymously through Crimestoppers.

Christ Church said the gallery would remain closed until further notice.

A statement read: “At around 11pm on Saturday March 14, there was a break-in at Christ Church Picture Gallery,” the college said.

“The perpetrators proceeded to take three valuable works of art.

“Christ Church staff alerted the police, who immediately attended the scene in order to gather evidence.

“The police have appealed for witnesses who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in the area, or who may have CCTV or other footage that could be helpful in the investigation.

“For further information, including how to contact the police, please see the police appeal.

“We are extremely grateful for the quick and thorough response by the police.

“We will continue to provide whatever support we can as they continue their investigation and work to help us recover these important cultural artefacts.

“The Picture Gallery will remain closed until further notice.”



About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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