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Artist’s painting of Kevin Sinfield still missing months later

Kevin Sinfield has been in the media spotlight for all sorts of positive reasons in the past year or so – not least his fundraising attempts for friend Rob Burrow and MND research.

With Sinfield’s fundraising efforts, other people have followed suit in order to raise as much money as possible, but for one such person that went awry when one of the works they produced went missing – and it still hasn’t been found over two months later

The artist, who wrote into the Telegraph simply as ‘LE’ revealed:” I am an artist who in February last year painted a portrait of a local rugby player, Kevin Sinfield OBE. He had just completed seven marathons in seven days to raise funds and awareness of motor neurone disease for Leeds Rhinos player Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2019. He raised over £3m.

“I decided to paint the portrait to fundraise for the same cause, with four limited-edition prints signed by Kevin to be auctioned at MND Association charity events. I am thrilled that to date three of the paintings have each raised over £1,000. The fourth was requested for an auction on Dec 5 2021 in Leeds.

“On Nov 26, the organiser arranged for a courier from delivery firm Hermes to collect the print that afternoon. However, it did not arrive at its destination.

“The package was clearly marked on both sides with the recipient’s address, a barcode and handle-with-care labels. After numerous attempts at chasing Hermes – and more than six weeks after the painting was collected from me – we are still no further on as to what has happened to the print. The service is very frustrating as Hermes operates a “virtual assistant”, which repeats the same message.

“In desperation, I contacted its chief executive Martijn De Lange. His department said it would investigate but this has produced no further information as to the print’s whereabouts.

“The charity auction has been and gone. I suggested that Hermes should send a donation to the charity. Couriers must be responsible for the items we entrust with them, or what is the point of using their services? I hope you can help achieve a satisfactory resolution.

Sally Hamilton at the Telegraph, whose letter the person addressed it to, was able to get in contact with Hermes and recover the artist’s money, but the painting still hasn’t been found: “I contacted Hermes to put it in the picture and add my consumer champion weight to your complaint. I am pleased to say that it did not take long for it to agree that you should be compensated.”

A spokesman said: “We have been in touch with the customer to apologise. We have paid her £1,000 to donate to this great charity and will continue to search for her painting.”

Having said that, no painting has been found and it perhaps looks like it will never be found either.

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