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  1. ITV Report

Artwork stolen from Manchester bar tracked down in Australia after Facebook campaign

Leader of the pack: The jacket was one of four and was taken last month. Credit: Manchester Evening News

A piece of an artwork stolen from a a city centre bar in Manchester has turned up - 9,000 miles away in Australia.

The leather jacket, part of an art installation at Common Bar in the Northern Quarter, was was taken from the Edge Street venue last month.

Staff were stunned when a man jumped on a bar stool and grabbed the jacket from a coat hanger which was screwed to the wall, before fleeing, at around 7.30pm on Tuesday, 21st October.

Bosses were determined to find it and despite informing police, they launched a social media hunt for it.

The stolen leather jacket (second from right) at the art installation at Common Bar in the Northern Quarter Credit: Manchester Evening News

Eagle-eyed punters at the bar spotted a Facebook post by a young Australian man appearing to show the jacket hanging on his bedroom wall.

After bosses got in touch he admitted he had taken the valuable 1950s motorcycle jacket as a dare on his last night in Manchester and had taken back with him to his homeland.

They are now negotiating with him in order to have it returned.

General Manager Iwan Roberts said the theft of the jacket, which was on loan to the bar from artist Idiots Pasture, had left everyone angry and upset.

It was part of a show called The Gravehounds of Bone Street by the Skull Paradise collective, based on four fictional dogs and had ‘Leader of the Pack’ written the back.

This thing was pretty high up and was pretty secure, so it wasn’t easy to steal.

He probably didn’t think much of it, but it’s worth quite a bit of money. We invest a lot in these artists and these shows as well so it’s a real shame. The artist in particular is pretty distraught.

He’s had it a long time so he’s got an emotional attachment to it as well. We have a really nice clientèle at the bar, we have never had anything like this happen before, or any trouble at all really. So we weren’t surprised that it wasn’t someone from Manchester who had taken it. We just want it back now.

– Iwan Roberts