CCTV image released by police of a man they want to speak to in connection with a theft at the Masterpiece fair held in July at the Royal Hospital site in Chelsea.

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At around 1.30pm on Wednesday, July 1 an assistant noticed The Black Panther, a 15in (37cm) bronze created by François Pompon in 1925, was missing. CCTV footage shows the suspect in a suit and tie taking the £100,000 sculpture off a plinth and putting it under his jacket before quickly leaving the building.

"We know he left in a taxi which dropped him at Appold Street, at the junction with Primrose Street, near Liverpool Street station," said Detective Constable O'Brien who can be contacted on 020 8246 0237.

Bronze Thefts

Portable bronzes have been the target of thieves in recent times. 

At the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum in Copenhagen on July 16 two men, posing as tourists, removed the cast of Rodin's The Man with the Broken Nose (1863) from a plinth and left with it in a bag, while at the end of June a man stole an Elisabeth Frink bronze from a Mayfair gallery. In this instance the thief browsed and spoke with the manager before secreting the cast of Horizontal Birdman 1 under a newspaper.