Brian Wilson, a former employee of Seighford Hall – a Class II listed old house in need of protection – in Stafford (England), was fired in November 2020 for his inadvertent conduct. have serious consequences.
The incident happened after the manager of the old house discovered that Mr. Brian Wilson had let a tourist take away a 460-year-old woodblock print bearing the emblem of Queen Elizabeth I. It is worth mentioning that the work was worth up to 5 million pounds (equivalent to 146 billion) – a huge amount.
According to the sheet The Mirror reported on May 26, Brian Wilson stated that he thought the oak trunk had been chipped and decayed by worms. Giving it away saved him from having to burn it.
Mr. Brian Wilson also said that he mistakenly believed that the ancient carving was “rotten”, and even threw it in a garbage heap to prepare to burn. Later, a man named Potter discovered the item and asked to bring it back.
Brian Wilson has worked at Seighford Hall since 1998 before being fired in 2020.
During his recent trial, he told the employment court that Mr Potter had discovered the item and asked to have the rotten wood removed. He said: “I gave it to him too, I’m even glad that someone cleaned up the trash.”
After keeping the item for more than a year, Mr. Potter decided to cut it into pieces and use it as scrap. But his move was stopped at the last second by a passerby, who happened to be an expert on Elizabethan history. The expert explained to Mr. Potter that the block of wood was extremely valuable.
The location of the woodcut before and after it was removed.
Mr Potter then took the item to a local auction house, who declared the item a “shocking” find. At the same time, the person added that it was in ‘excellent condition for over 400 years’ with ‘minimal damage’. At that time, the woodcarving was valued at 5 million pounds.
Upon learning of the news, Brian Wilson tried to cover up his wrongdoing by claiming that the item had been stolen along with a tractor and two fireplaces. Those two things were also sold by him at the same time.
Mr. Brian Wilson was later fired by the property’s manager for serious misconduct. Currently, the management of the ancient house Seighford Hall has filed a lawsuit against Mr. Brian and demanded compensation for great damage. Meanwhile, Mr. Potter has yet to find a potential buyer for the woodcut. He recently turned down an offer of £1.9 million for the piece.
The story of this precious painting that is considered trash has not yet ended.
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