Topics: Crime, Rereātea - Midday News

Stolen korowai returned

By Jessica Tyson
  • Wellington

A korowai that was recently stolen from an art gallery in Wellington last week has been returned by the person who took it - a homeless man. 

Kura Gallery’s curator Hannah Amundsen told Rereātea the korowai was stolen last Tuesday.

Staff at the gallery today said the korowai was returned on Saturday by the man who took it.

“This was due to detective work by curator Hannah Amundsen after it was taken, which led her to go out into the community and befriend associates of the man who in turn persuaded him to return the korowai.” 

Staff at the gallery have decided not to lay charges.

“The man who brought it in had mental issues and didn’t fully understand what he took at the time.”

The korowai was made by renowned Māori weaver Gary J Grace, and was stolen on Tuesday June 26 sometime between 3.30pm and 6pm during the installation of another exhibition.

According to the gallery’s website, the korowai is valued at $10,780, sized 102cm by 128cm and made from jute, wool, hukahuka and black taniko.  The taniko design represents Mako shark teeth.

The gallery purchased the korowai from the designer and it has been with them for 10 years.