Search for Pell artists draws a blank


Some of Australia’s major media organisations are still searching for courtroom artists missing in Melbourne since Wednesday.

Spokespeople for both The Guardian and ABC News said they had commissioned the artists to attend the Victorian Court of  Appeal to cover the handing down of the decision in Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his child sex conviction.

“It seemed a pretty straightforward assignment, so we don’t know what went wrong,” an ABC representative said.

“Not long after the Appeal Court judges took to the bench we and The Guardian received images transmitted from the artists (main picture).

“When the images arrived it was immediately clear to us that the artists were in the wrong court room. In fact we’re not even sure they were in the same courtroom as each other.

“We’ve been trying to solve the puzzle since Wednesday with no luck.

“All we can do is appeal to the public to contact us urgently if they see any of the artists.

“We have their self-portraits on file but we don’t think it will help if we release them publicly,” the spokesperson said.

STOP PRESS: One of the missing artists has been located outside a courthouse in Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, where he had spent time drawing a local man (middle picture, above). On his return to Australia, the artist is expected to get a “please explain” as to why he drew a clerical collar on an unemployed mechanic, 69, facing court over 212 unpaid parking fines.