Taking McCahon

This story is based on the theft of the Urewera triptych by Colin McCahon from the DOC centre up in the Urewera mountains. It was published in 2009 in Landfall 218.

“They went round the back carrying the ladder, along with the other fella who’d been following in the car. Te Kaha had a crowbar. Get in then you’re out, quick fast. He could’ve done it quieter, but no, it was over real sudden, using the crowbar, and of course the bloody alarm went off. It made him shiver. He wasn’t used to hard ringing alarms. He was used to walking quietly round the backs of houses and letting himself in with a hunting knife. So they got inside. Moving fast now. There was the painting. But there were three, not just one. And so big. So full of shadows. It freaked him out. But they were working quick fast now to get the paintings off the wall before the ranger came. It wasn’t that hard: the pictures were just stuck onto the wall with staples …”

to read the full story you can download a PDF version here

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