Thieves target surrealist's £30,000 menu sketch

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The Independent Online

The figure was sketched on the back of a menu in a Spanish hotel 26 years ago by one of the world's most famous artists. As he handed it over he signed off with a flourish: " A mio amigo [To my friend] ­ Salvador."

The figure was sketched on the back of a menu in a Spanish hotel 26 years ago by one of the world's most famous artists. As he handed it over he signed off with a flourish: " A mio amigo [To my friend] ­ Salvador."

The piece produced by Salvador Dali is valued at £30,000, and it has been stolen from the home of its owner in Sherborne, Dorset. Police believe thieves broke in on Monday with the intention of taking the sketch.

The owner, a 63-year-old retired company director, does not wish to be identified. He acquired it as a result of a series of encounters with the artist at the Cervantes Figueres Hotel in the artist's native city.

Dali, then aged 74, sketched a representation of one his earlier works, A Spanish Knight. The hotel manager provided a statement of authenticity.