Four stolen artworks recovered

Four of the five paintings stolen from the Pretoria Art Museum were found in PE on Tuesday.

Some walls of the Pretoria Art Museum remained bare, after artwork estimated to be worth R15 million was stolen on 11 November 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

PRETORIA - Four of the five paintings that were stolen from the Pretoria Art Museum were found in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

Three men posing as students and a teacher held up staff at the museum on Sunday, before making off with five paintings worth more than R17 million.

The stolen artwork included pieces by Gerard Sekoto and Maggie Laubser.

During investigations, it emerged the museum's CCTV system had not been operating since last week Thursday.

It was a tip-off from an informant which led the Port Elizabeth dog unit to a local Dutch Reformed Church.

The police's Sandra Janse van Rensburg said the stolen artwork was hidden on the grounds.

"The dog unit found the four paintings. They were packed on top of each other."

She said no arrests have been made.

"Our forensic team is on the scene to see if they can get any evidence."

Police said they were eager to return the paintings to their rightful owners.