A BEAUTIFUL oil painting that mysteriously disappeared was tactically returned to the artist on Sunday.

The painting of a large sunset valued at £2000 belongs to Melvyn Warren-Smith and was taken from outside the SVA studio on Nelson Street last Sunday.

However, much to Melvyn’s pleasure and surprise the painting re-appeared a week later still in mint condition, and with a note saying “Sorry.”

Melvyn said: “To be honest I had let the painting go, I had assumed I wasn’t going to see it again and I was hoping they would get some pleasure out of it.

“It was to my great surprise on Sunday that I was contacted by a lady saying there was a painting placed outside a church just out of Stroud Tow Centre.

“My wife Marie went and retrieved the painting which was protected by bubble wrap and had s note saying 'I’m sorry.'

“It was pretty amazing when I knew I was getting it back, a bit like a lost child returning to their parents.

“I think it’s amazing that someone actually returned it and said sorry, it’s not often that people apologise these days.”

Melvyn, 69, has been living in Stroud for 18 months having moved from Leamington Hastings in the Midlands.

He said: “I love Stroud and I love living here so I was surprised when the picture was taken, however, the fact that it was returned shows just what kind of place this is.”