Sleep ’tis a Gentle Thing by New Zealand artist Charles Frederick Goldie was stolen along with many other unique works of art and antiques. Photo / NZ Police
Three people have been arrested in connection with an art robbery that included a Goldie painting estimated to be worth more than $ 1 million.
Waikato police last week reported a robbery of antiquities in Hamilton East that included paintings titled Sleep ’tis a Gentle Thing, by Ngāti Maru and chief Ngāti Paoa Hori Pokai, by New Zealand artist Charles Frederick Goldie.
Police believe it took place in the Hamilton East area between December 27 and January 3.
On Monday, police revealed that they had issued a search warrant at Hamilton’s address on Saturday and found stolen property.
Two of the men, aged 45 and 49, appeared in Hamilton District Court today, jointly charged with robbery.
They were both given temporary name suppression, one was given bail while the other was detained until he could find a suitable place to live.
The man on bail has filed a plea of innocence and will now appear in court again in March.
The 49-year-old defendant was held without defense until February 2, but his lawyers indicated that bail applications were likely to be made before that date.
The third defendant will appear after the postponement of lunch today.
Meanwhile, Goldie’s painting has not been found.
“The police are seeking public assistance with any information that could lead to the restoration of this painting,” said a police media release.
“If you have information, please call the Police on 105 and excerpt file 210103/2961.
“Alternatively, you can call Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Goldie’s most expensive piece, A Noble Relic of a Noble Race, from chief Ngāti Manawa Wharekauri Tahuna, sold for $ 1,337,687 at an International Arts Center auction in Auckland in 2016.
Director Richard Thomson said he sold another version of the stolen painting in 2008 for a record price of $ 454,000.
“So it’s a multi-million dollar piece of art on the market today. I’ve sold dozens of Goldies, and it’s a really good example of his work, has all the advantages.
“I’m quite annoyed [the burglary]. This is a very important national treasure. The owner is the keeper, but the country owns it, really. “
The stolen painting was likely created between 1933 and 1938, when Goldie was in his sixties.
While Goldie’s previous work tends to fetch the highest price, Thomson says the 2016 record was set in 1941.
Despite his high ratings, Thomson said he thought it would be “worthless” in the hands of the thief.
“There is absolutely no market for it now in the wrong hands. It’s a stupid thing to do and all they’ll get is bad karma.
“My advice is to come back as quickly and safely as possible.”