Two valuable paintings stolen during a burglary five years ago have been recovered.
The Gottfried Lindauer portraits were stolen from an art gallery on Parnell Road on 1 April, 2017.
Auckland City police said their recovery had brought new avenues of inquiry.
The portraits titled Chieftainess Ngatai-Raure and Chief Ngatai-Raure were painted in 1884 and had a combined value of about $1 million when the burglary occurred.
Detective inspector Scott Beard of Auckland City CIB said the pieces were returned to the rightful owner yesterday.
“Police were contacted by an intermediary, who sought to return the paintings on behalf of others,” he said.
Both paintings had minor damage, which was believed to have occurred when they were stolen, he said.
No one had been charged despite “extensive inquiries” at the time, and police were now waiting for results of forensic work carried out over the past week.
The original investigation into the burglary, where a vehicle was used to gain entry to the gallery, was wound down some years ago.
“Pending any forensic results from our inquiries, police will look at any new information that comes to hand and we will follow that up appropriately,” Beard said.
“Loyalties change over time and there may be people out there that know those responsible for the burglary.”
There is no statutory limit for the offence of burglary.
“No matter how much time passes, we remain open to the fact we can hold a person, or people, to account for the burglary in 2017,” Beard said.
Anyone with information can contact police via the 105 phone service online, or anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz