'It's shocking' - Anger as original Chairman Mao propaganda poster stolen from pub toilet
PUBLISHED: 12:07 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:19 30 October 2019
Simon Parker/PA IMAGES
A frustrated restaurateur has hit out after a valuable piece of propaganda art was stolen from his pub.
Earlier this month, staff at The Unruly Pig, in Bromeswell near Woodbridge, were left appalled after discovering an original Chairman Mao propaganda poster had been stolen from the gents toilet.
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The culprit is also believed to have been responsible for the attempted theft of a Julie Andrews collage in the disabled loo, which damaged the artwork and left two gaping holes in the wall.
"It's a sad comment on society that someone would come here and commit theft", owner Brendan Padfield.
"It's shocking we had a customer who was not only prepared to steal but was also prepared to commit damage.
"We like to think we are a fun and accessible pub - this isn't the sort of thing an 'Unruly' customer would do."
The stolen poster was part of a larger display centred on the infamous dictator who led the Communist Party of China from 1949 to his death in 1976.
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And the piece, thought to have been produced in the mid-60s, is part of Mr Padfield's personal collection.
His portfolio, which also includes propaganda posters praising Spanish fascist dictator Francisco Franco and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, is regularly rotated to be displayed in the pub toilet.
Explaining the reasoning behind the unusual choice of art, Mr Padfield added: "I collect propaganda art - I just love its ridiculous nature.
"It glorified people who have committed the most shameful acts in human history.
"I'm absolutely fascinated by the irony and how ridiculous it is."
He added: "The reaction of staff and customers is one of shock, sympathy and understanding - they get that its my personal collection.
This is not the first time the award winning gastro-pub has been struck with bad luck.
In 2016 it made national headlines after releasing CCTV of an Ipswich couple who vaulted over its garden hedge to escape paying their £147 bill.
And earlier this year a speeding car skidded into the pub's outdoor planters causing around £750 worth of damage and narrowly avoiding diners.