The artist says he received a message on from someone who said they recalled seeing someone on a bus with what looked like the stolen McGregor painting. The man was “implying he had just bought it” and allegedly “showed the painting to the whole upper deck”.
O’Loughlin, an Irish painter, says a large print of McGregor was taken from the Balla Bán Art Gallery in the Westbury Mall near Grafton Street on Sunday, and that Christmas shoppers possibly witnessed the theft.
I just got a call from the gallery yesterday to say, [the person worked there] turned his back to chat to someone and when he looked back it was gone. It is not a small painting, so surely somebody saw the person with it. It is a hard thing to carry around without being noticed. Of course I am annoyed, but I am relieved it was not the original. It took three and a half months to paint with the tattoo taking a good proportion of that. We don’t do many prints, so it is frustrating. I don’t hold out much hope of getting it back unfortunately. The print would have been around €300. [For the original] I’ve been offered €7,000 for it but turned it down. I would like to hang on to it, unless of course Conor himself came looking for it.