Stolen Terry Bradley paintings recovered in west Belfast raid
SEVEN paintings by Belfast-born artist Terry Bradley stolen last year have been recovered during a police raid in west Belfast.
The pieces of art were recovered during a search of a flat and a store room in the St Mary's Gardens area of Beechmount on Thursday, which also led to the discovery of a significant amount of ammunition.
The paintings by the popular artist had been stolen during a burglary at his gallery last November.
Between 80 and 100 original art pieces were taken from the pop up gallery in Chichester Street, with the Bradley family estimating at the time that the total value between £50,000 and £60,000.
The artist's wife, Ashley Bradley last night said they were "absolutely delighted" to have the works of art returned.
"We got a phone call from police on Thursday, literally just after they had left the house where the raid took place," she said.
"They phoned Beverly, who works in the gallery and said they would send her images of the art they had found to see if they were ours. She sent them on to me and as soon as I saw them and I knew they were ours.
"There were around 50 pieces stolen last year so to get seven back, we're absolutely delighted. We even got the big original back, the highest value individual piece, 'Lucky', which is worth around £8,000 to £9,000.
"At the start after they were stolen, I had been hopeful they would be returned. But as time went on, I had started to give up hope.
"To see them returned is fantastic."
Ms Bradley said the art work had already been returned to them by police and appeared to be in good condition.
"Some of the pieces stolen were in bubble wrap and it appears they were kept in it," she said.
"The large painting, 'Never Give Up', has a few scratches on it, but already a man from England has phoned and bought it. I said to him that we could replace the frame as it's a bit scratched, but he said no, that it's part of the story of the painting now."
A police spokeswoman said: "Following a search conducted by Belfast District Support Team, police have recovered a magazine and a significant quantity of ammunition.
"The items were recovered in the St Mary's Gardens area of Beechmount earlier today.
"Police also recovered a number of pieces of artwork that are suspected stolen property.
"The recovered material has been taken away for examination."