Strolled casually into a reception at the Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown tonight, not really knowing what the exhibition was. "Never", I thought. "It cannot be". "This is some sort of joke". But it wasn't a joke. Hanging on the wall, facing the door through which I had just walked was an oil on canvas by Claude Monet entitled San Giorgio Maggiore by Twilight. Now I don't do many galleries and exhibitions and I'm not an officiado, but I recognised this painting. Last time I saw it was on TV over Xmas when I watched the Thomas Crown Affair - for the first time. The very same painting that Thomas Crown stole, hanging on a wall in Newtown in rural Mid Wales. And next to it was another Monet, and then an oil by Paul Cezanne and then a ........ Its incredible - except that I saw it all with my own eyes, just three hours ago. Hundreds of millions of pounds just hanging there.
The paintings are part of the collection of works of art left by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, normally housed in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. They are out on tour. The exhibition was opened tonight by Lord Davies of Llandinam, a direct descendant of the Davies sisters, and is open until well into April. If you do happen to be in Newtown call in - and if you have to go there specially for that matter. And if you see Piers Brosnan, or someone who looks like him walking around town with a briefcase with TC on it, please notify Newtown Police Station immediately.