Noel gig sees prints stolen from Usher Hall wonderwall

HUNDREDS of pounds worth of artwork was stolen during Noel Gallagher’s concert at the Usher Hall on Thursday night, it has emerged.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 31st October 2011, 12:12 pm

Four prints valued at around £800 were stripped from the basement corridor and smuggled out of the venue during the sell-out gig at the newly revamped venue on Lothian Road venue.

The A4-size prints, all encased in individual glass frames, were copies of original works depicting 18th-century German theatre clothing.

Nearly 3000 people packed into the Usher Hall for Gallagher’s debut tour for his solo album, High Flying Birds, and it is thought the art thieves may have sneaked the loot out by concealing them in clothing.

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Officials from the Usher Hall rubbished reports circulating online today that there had been widespread vandalism during the concert.

But a police spokesman confirmed that they were investigating the theft of prints from the Usher Hall after being notified about the crime the morning after the concert.

Councillor Deidre Brock, convener of the culture and leisure committee, said: “I’m sure everyone that loves the Usher Hall will join with me in being shocked and disappointed that anyone would want to carry out such a theft. The prints are not particularly rare and I would urge anyone who has any information about what happened to contact the police or Usher Hall staff.”

Tickets for the gig were sought-after, selling out within 45 minutes, and were being sold on the online auction site eBay for hundreds of pounds over the face value within days of them going on sale.

Last week’s incident is not the first time crime has occurred at an Edinburgh event involving the former Oasis musician.

In June 2009 an Oasis concert at Murrayfield stadium was marred by violence.

The worst of it saw a man violently assaulted by five other revellers. The victim, in his 30s, was savagely beaten to the ground, where he was repeatedly punched and kicked. He had to be taken to an ambulance by stretcher before being ferried to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment.

The incidents of antisocial behaviour, which included fans urinating in people’s gardens near the stadium, led to some councillors calling for certain musical events at Murrayfield to be scrapped altogether.

In September the Evening News reported how The Usher Hall, which underwent a £37.5 million refurbishment that was completed five years late and nearly £20 million over budget, had been awarded the top accolade for excellence by VisitScotland.