THE manager of an Oxford pub has revealed how it was the victim of a bizarre art heist.

A portrait of Prince Harry painted specially to celebrate his wedding to Meghan Markle was stolen from the Crown pub in Cornmarket Street last month.

The woman who stole it is still on the run from police, but the artist behind the painting has said he takes the theft as a 'compliment'.

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Angela Economopoulos, who manages the Crown, said the art thief walked into the pub at about 7.30pm on Wednesday, October 23.

She said staff saw the woman snooping around the alleyway leading down to the Crown, and even asked some some 'random' questions about the two paintings, which were hanging on an outdoor wall.

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She was also seen apparently making a phone call.

Suddenly, the woman pulled both paintings off the wall.

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She tried to pick up both the works and start running with them, but with each canvas around 4ft high, she only managed to carry Harry, and kicked Meghan out the way as she fled.

Staff at the pub are now keeping Meghan safely away from the public eye.

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Harry, meanwhile, is still missing, and the thief cannot be found.

The man who painted the two royal portraits, East Oxford artist Andrew 'Mani' Manson, told the Oxford Mail this week: "It’s quite a compliment if someone is happy to pinch a picture of yours – you’re doing something right.

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The full-time artist went on: "I’m curious to see what will happen to this woman: is this her first venture? Where is it hung? I want to know whether it has been burnt or destroyed."

Mr Manson has now offered to create a new mural for the Crown as part of a major refurbishment which will see the pub closed from November 27 to December 4.

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Ms Economopoulos added: "Losing the painting is a bit frustrating but we’re happy to have the refurb and more of Mani’s work, we’ve always had Mani’s work here."

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Mr Manson’s next project focuses on ‘local people painted from local stories’, and people can see more of Mani’s paintings and street art in pubs across Oxford, including the Punter on Osney Island and the Chequers on High Street, as well as street art on Cowley Road.

Thames Valley Police confirmed that it received a report that a painting was stolen from the Crown on October 23.

Officers asked anyone with information to call 101 quoting the reference number 43190330756.