McCartney, Estranged Wife in Art Spat

The Associated Press
Friday, December 29, 2006; 4:35 PM

LONDON -- Police were called to the country estate of former Beatle Paul McCartney after his estranged wife reported the theft of paintings _ including a Picasso and a Renoir _ from the lodge they once shared, police said Friday.

"We checked the premises, and spoke to Heather Mills (McCartney), and as a result it was found to be a civil matter between her and her husband," Sussex Police spokesman Paddy Rea said. "There's been no theft."

Mills called police Thursday night after discovering that paintings valued at an estimated $19.5 million had gone missing, The Sun newspaper reported Friday.

The Sun, quoting an unidentified friend of Mills McCartney, said that McCartney had taken the paintings and reprogrammed the estate's alarm codes, and informed her Thursday night by text message.

McCartney and his wife announced their separation in May after four years of marriage and began divorce proceedings in July. They have a 3-year-old daughter, Beatrice.

Neither Mills' nor McCartney's representatives were immediately available for comment.


© 2006 The Associated Press
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