A marble sculpture has been stolen from a Whanganui gallery... right under the gallery owner's nose.

Totem, a 50-cm high marble sculpture by Whanganui-based artist Hamish Horsley was part of an exhibition at the WHMilbank Gallery in Bell St.

On May 26, while gallery owner Bill Milbank was showing some customers artwork in the rear of the gallery, someone came in and took the sculpture from its position near the front door.

It is worth $3300, and was not insured. The police are aware of the theft.


"It was a reasonable weight, but one person would be able to lift it by themselves," Mr Milbank said.

He had not been able to publicise the theft until he contacted Mr Horsley, who was overseas when the theft happened.

"We're both shattered and disappointed," he said.

"Nothing like this has ever happened in my gallery before."

Mr Milbank said he would review his security - currently he has a buzzer that operates when someone walks in the gallery door, but he said it did not always work.

"I'm looking at getting cameras and so on."

Mr Milbank said the best outcome would be for the sculpture to be returned - no questions asked.

Failing that, anyone with information or who knows where the sculpture is should contact Whanganui Police or call/text Mr Milbank on 027 6286877.