A painting believed to have been stolen from Falmouth's Princess Pavilion went missing after being taken down during redecoration works.

More information has come to light after it was revealed on Saturday that the John Dyer painting, which was bought with public money, had not been on display since last year.

The distinctive painting, called Picnic Celebration - an acrylic on canvas painting measuring 18x24 inches - was bought for public display by the Friends of Gyllyngdune Gardens to mark Mr Dyer’s residency at the gardens during 2012, and had been hanging near to the ticket office.

Hayley May, general manager at the Princess Pavilion, said today: “The John Dyer painting was taken down when the box office was re-decorated.

"When we realised it hadn’t been put back up, we searched for it but haven’t been able to find it anywhere. The police have been contacted.

“We’re very upset that this has happened and sincerely hope the painting is found.”

Falmouth-based artist Mr Dyer told the Packet: “It’s almost certainly in the local area – someone has obviously just lifted it. It’s a real shame.

“The more people that know that image the better. It’s taken away that joy and that public money.”

He said he could not understand the thinking behind taking it, adding: “It’s not like an iPhone where you can go down the pub and sell it for £50. It’s a very selfish act.

“It’s very hard to say why someone should do that and they should just give it back!”

He urged anyone who may see it in for sale, or in someone’s house, to get in touch with the police, the John Dyer Gallery on 01326 735016 or the Princess Pavilion and Gyllyngdune Gardens.

“At some point that painting will resurface,” said the artist.

The painting is easily identifiable as being in Mr Dyer’s colourful style and shows the bandstand in Gyllygdune Gardens with part of the verandah.

It is the first time a piece of his work has been stolen, to his knowledge.