FORMER Beirut hostage Terry Waite has appealed to readers of the East Anglian Daily Times to help recover a treasured portrait he lost while travelling.

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Yesterday Mr Waite, who was held captive for almost five years between 1987 and 1991, said it must seem like “carelessness”, to have got himself lost again.

The 73-year-old humanitarian, who was returning from giving a talk at Aston University in Birmingham, said he could have inadvertently left his likeness, either on the train or somewhere inside Bury St Edmunds Station.

The portrait was painted in oils on canvas as part of the Bingham Brothers’ People of Our Time series, which also includes the likes of Charlton Heston, Paul Weller and Noddy Holder.

Mr Waite, who found global fame when he was held hostage while acting as Archbishop of Canterbury’s special envoy in Lebanon, said: “To go missing for five years is one thing, to go missing again is just carelessness. I just hope the portrait can be found, because I am fond of it.”

Mr Waite said he had lost concentration because he feared his car, which was outside Bury station, was going to be given a parking ticket.

“Before I got on the train I was trying to get a ticket. I rang a number and got nowhere and in the end, I had to get on without a ticket.

“On the way back I was just thinking ‘Oh crikey, I am going to get a parking fine for nothing’ and I was so concerned that I forgot about the painting.”

Mr Waite was travelling on the 7.43pm Greater Anglia train from Cambridge, which arrived in Bury at 8.22pm on September 5.

But the Emmaus UK president, who lives in Hartest, near Bury, said he was appealing now because he was sure that

someone must know of the portrait’s whereabouts.

“Surely if anyone has got the portrait, hanging it on their wall would be disturbing because I am no oil painting.

He added: “I would very much like to have it back. I was going to give it to Emmaus, which works to enable homeless people get back on their feet.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact either Terry Waite’s office on 01284 789412 or by e-mail to sarah.dp@btinternet.com

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