Mystery of stolen 9ft paintings from Phoenix Estate in Lewes

Samira Harris with a card of one of her banners in front of where it was stolen
Samira Harris with a card of one of her banners in front of where it was stolen

Two 9ft paintings commissioned by Glastonbury Festival were stolen from their public display at the Phoenix Estate on Saturday night (September 6).

Samira Harris was due to take the banners she designed down on Sunday morning and was shocked to find two of the three pieces had disappeared.

The artworks were on display in Lewes as part of Artwave and the Phoenix Festival. The banner’s designer,

Samira said: “I knew there were risks displaying my paintings in public but I never expected them to be stolen.

“One banner was designed to raise awareness to the dangers of fracking and the other to help promote confidence in young people.

“The irony of someone stealing a huge sign that says: ‘Activate your Potential’ would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

“Myself and fellow artist Sandi Lee worked on these banners night and day and we really love our creations.

“It would be amazing to get them back, not just for ourselves but also so they can be used for positive causes in the future.

“I can tell the banners weren’t ripped down but carefully removed To me this means the person or people who took them did so because they liked them rather than just as a drunken prank or something.

“My message to the person who took them is: Please don’t hide them or throw them away in panic.

“I promise there will only be a happy reception if they are brought back to Zu Studios, they could even just be left inside the courtyard one night!”

Samira created a poster with the key facts and tried to make light of the bizarre nature of this theft by giving the poster a Scooby-Doo theme.

So far the poster has been shared dozens of times on social networks and soon printed versions will be posted around Lewes.

After the huge success of The Phoenix Festival, thousands of local people have seen the banners so the hope is someone will have heard or seen something.

If you have any information, Samira would love to hear from you either by email: or call 07979 651718.