Student’s lost artwork found 4,000 miles away

Grace Hart, 20, with her mother Sonia
Image caption,Grace Hart, 20, with her mother who accidentally threw away her artwork

Josh Sandiford

BBC News, West Midlands

A fashion student who thought she had lost precious sketches has described her shock after they ended up in Pakistan.

Grace Hart, 20, feared she wouldn’t get into university after her mother Sonia accidentally threw away her portfolio.

About a year later, Ms Hart discovered her art was being sold in a charity shop in Lahore about 4,000 miles away.

Then, in an even more bizarre twist of fate, a photographer in the city found her on Instagram before wrapping up the designs and sending them back.

This all happened as Ms Hart was preparing her portfolio for an application to study fashion at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Her art books had become mixed up with items her family were sending to a charity shop, during a clear-out.

Artwork showing potraits of two women and a man
Image caption,Some of the artwork included in Grace’s portfolio

Thankfully, the 20-year-old was accepted onto the course as she was able to send pictures of the work she had spent years putting together.

But neither Ms Hart or her mother initially realised what had happened and spent months searching high and low.

“I was stressing so much, because those art books were the only thing I had that proved I did work at school,” she said.

Sketches by Grace Hart
Image caption,Ms Hart’s mother felt sick when she realised what happened

It wasn’t until a year later that the mystery finally started to make sense, when Ms Hart received an Instagram message from a man called Tajwar Munir.

The well-known Pakistan-based fashion photographer had found her work in a thrift store and bought it before finding her on the social media site.

Ms Hart said she initially mistook the message for a scam and almost didn’t respond.

But after chatting back and forth and waiting months for an international delivery, the grateful student finally saw her work returned to her.

“I’ve always taken a lot of pride in my art,” she said. “It was very upsetting when I realised it had gone missing.”

Grace Hart, 20, and her mother Sonia
Image caption,Grace Hart’s mother, who has since been forgiven, described the story as incredible

Her mum, who has since been forgiven, described the story as incredible and thanked Mr Munir.

“We had searched everywhere,” the 52-year-old said. “I did feel sick. I was absolutely gutted.

“Grace is really talented and her artwork is amazing. I started to panic and thought, ‘What is she going to do for university?'”

She is now urging people to make sure they go through http://gitarisgila.com/ their bags before throwing them out or donating items to charity.

“I never expected in a million years that we would get her artwork back, but it does restore your faith in humanity,” she added.

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