Hospital patients have been deprived of potential funding by the ‘low’ theft of two paintings being displayed at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Aspiring artist Caroline Kinley was exhibiting 30 paintings at the hospital and if sold a commission from the sale would have gone to the Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the facility.
But within a couple of weeks of beginning her three month display, Mrs Kinley noticed two oil paintings had been stolen from a wall near the A&E department.
As a result of the cruel act, an alarm system has had to be installed on the paintings to prevent a thief striking again.
Mrs Kinley said it was ‘awful’ that someone had taken her work, not only because of the funds patients would be denied but also due to the time and effort she had put into the ‘unique’ paintings.
One is of an Alsatian sat in bluebell woods, while the other is of national hunt racing. The stolen paintings are thought to be worth around £165 and £120 each.
Mrs Kinley, 40, said: “It does seem a bit low. It’s depriving the trust of its commission.
“It’s awful. You put a lot of time and effort into the painting and it’s hard to enough to try and sell them anyway without people walking off with them.
“Each painting is unique, you can’t get it back. Although I could paint the same thing again it wouldn’t be the same. It’s something that’s unique and original.”
Unlike with selling many stolen items, the re-sale market for such paintings is quite small and Mrs Kinley thinks the thief will struggle to do so.
She said: “They have probably stolen it to put in there house or give it to someone.”
Mrs Kinley, who mainly paints realistic representations of animals, has been painting all her life but has taken it up more seriously since her daughter was born seven years ago.
She said: “I’d love to do it as a full time job.”
Police said between September 17 and 24 two oil paintings were stolen from the hospital.
Call police with information on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.