Harris art value 'to remain down'

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The value of Rolf Harris's art is set to remain

The value of Rolf Harris's art is set to remain "enormously down" for "a very long time", an expert has said.

The veteran entertainer's reputation was left in tatters this week after he was convicted of 12 sex charges involving four women, most while they were under age.

A household name, famed for for his music and TV appearances, the 84-year-old was also a keen artist and his work exhibited for the world to see.

In 2005 he had the rare privilege of painting a portrait of the Queen to mark her 80th birthday - but Harris's conviction means people will no longer want his work on their walls.

Harris, who will be stripped of his Bafta in the wake of his conviction and could face losing his prestigious CBE, is "not the world's greatest artist" anyway, according to art dealer Peter Nahum.

"From what I've seen he makes popular pictures which have sold a) because they're nice, and hangable, and b) because he is who he is. I don't think people will want those hanging on their wall.
There's plenty of other choices," he said.

Mr Nahum, who is known for his appearances on BBC's Antiques Roadshow, dismissed reports that art dealers would be snapping up Harris's paintings at low prices in the hope their value would increase over time.

"What art dealers? Where's the proof?" he said.

Mr Nahum said people have "very severe reactions" to the charges Harris was found guilty of, adding:
"Therefore if you publicly hang his paintings all sorts of things can happen. Individuals can turn very nasty. What art dealer is going to put themselves in that position?"

Commenting on the value of Harris's paintings and how that may or may not change, Mr Nahum said: "I
think enormously down, and I think they'll remain down for a very long time."

On eBay, a signed limited edition print of Harris's The Straw Hat - an image of a female wearing only pants and a hat - is listed for £500 and has eight people watching it.

There are 34 bids on an original oil painting by Harris depicting a harbour scene, with the current bid at £410.

On the listing, the seller has a note saying: "despite rolf court appearances it doesnt take away the fact he is a very good artist therefore its a superb future investment" (sic).

Another painting on eBay, the rear view of a naked female, is priced at £200 and has five people watching it.

A woman has told of how a £28,000 Harris painting she bought may have lost 90% of its value.

Sara Gardiner, 35, invested her life savings in Horses At The Lights months before he was arrested, The Sun reported.

"I'm sick that I bought the work of such an evil man and gutted that it's now not going to be worth the canvas it's painted on," Ms Gardiner said.

Harris will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court tomorrow.

In a statement, eBay said: "eBay doesn't allow sale of offensive items on our site, including those related to criminal activity. As soon as an issue comes to light, we immediately remove any listings which related to the allegations. We continuously review our policies and have considered these situations carefully.

"We are in the process of closely reviewing the items for sale on our site that relate to Rolf Harris. We acted immediately when we learnt of the allegations and have kept this issue under continuous review."

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