Whanganui artist Lynn Hurst is desperate to locate a treasured 19th-century chest and family heirlooms stolen from storage.
Hurst moved to Whanganui from Houston, Texas, almost 30 years ago, bringing with her items she had collected from across the United States and used regularly for her artwork.
After a recent break-in at a friend's garage where many of the possessions were being stored, a 19th century North Korean chest she bought in New York City, along with various other family heirlooms, went missing.
"What was really devastating was that chest came with me from the US and contained some of my most precious, one-of-a-kind, things," Hurst said.
She said the chest housed various family passports, along with her mother's charm bracelet, antique Navajo bracelets collected in New Mexico in the 1970s and an inanga pounamu pendant, some of which she used for a series of works based on Vanitas paintings.
Hurst's Atomic Vanitas - Japan Floating series was a finalist in the 2018 National Contemporary Art Award.
"My ex-husband and I would always drive to Wyoming from wherever we were living at the time, whether it be New York or Santa Barbara or Houston, which usually took about three days," Hurst said.
"Along the way, we would always stop in Santa Fe in New Mexico and hunt in little antique shops for odd things.
"I tend to hoard all of my family stuff, I have this almost pathological need to keep things and document them."
While some possessions have been retrieved, Hurst's beloved chest and much of its contents are still missing.
"There was a letter from my Dad in there, the only one he wrote to me, and we managed to retrieve the envelope, but not the letter itself.
"The chest is a really rare thing, and the one that's most important to me, and I haven't managed to find anything like it on the internet or in auction houses.
"It would have gone to South Korea before the Korean War and found its way to America at some point, so there's been a lot of passing through and passing around."
Hurst said she hadn't given up on finding the chest and its contents and was offering a reward for information that led to its recovery.
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