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Last Updated: Friday, 4 January 2008, 08:33 GMT
Honest Napoli scavenger rewarded
Still Life by Aydar Khusainov
Detail from the painting said to be worth several thousand pounds
A Devon man who handed in an oil painting he found washed ashore from the wreck of the MSC Napoli is in line for another from the grateful artist.

The cargo ship ran aground off the Devon coast in January last year, spilling containers into the sea.

Tom Coombs was sifting through items when he found Still Life, said to be worth several thousand pounds.

But Mr Coombs handed it in and it was returned to its owner and now the artist has offered to give him another.

Mr Coombs found the oil painting by Aydar Khusainov, discarded on the pebbles after he joined scavengers looking for items on the beach at Branscombe.

But when he heard that people had lost personal possessions, Mr Coombs handed it back.

He said: "For my own conscience I thought it would be nice for the owner to have it back and give the painting a bit of history.

Tom Coombs
I thought it would be nice for the owner to have it back and give the painting a bit of history
Tom Coombs

"It's been shipwrecked, washed ashore on the beach, picked up and then returned to the owner."

St Petersburg-based artist Mr Khusainov said he wanted to give Mr Coombs a painting as a reward for handing the other one in.

He said: "For a long time I have noticed that my pictures have their own destiny.

"I would like to thank the man who has found my picture and taken care of it."

The Napoli was deliberately grounded in Lyme Bay in January after it was damaged in a storm.

The ship's 26-man crew was rescued by helicopter.

The wreck attracted scavengers taking everything from personal belongings to BMW bike parts.

All items should have been reported to the Receiver of Wreck within 28 days of being found.

Brandy matured in Napoli barrels
22 Nov 07 |  Somerset
Police crack down on scavengers
23 Jan 07 |  England

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