October 25, 2007
Who's Minding the Goya?
This one is not a white collar crime, at least not strictly, but the apparent ease with which it took place makes me wonder about how well valuable items are protected. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey announced the indictment (here) of a defendant for violating 18 U.S.C. Sec. 668 for theft of an object of cultural heritage, Goya's oil painting "Children with a Cart." The theft of the 1778 painting made the FBI's Top Ten Art Crimes list (here) when it was taken on November 8, 2006, while being transported from the Toledo Museum of Art to the Guggenheim in New York for an exhibition of Spanish painters. A high tech theft, along the lines of It Takes a Thief? Well, not really, at least according to an FBI press release (here) announcing the painting's recovery almost two weeks after the theft. The release states, "The painting was stolen from a transport truck as it was parked overnight in a hotel parking lot in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania." I hope it was at least padlocked in the lot, given that the painting is valued at over $1,000,000. The painting did make it to the Guggenheim for the exhibit, and is now back home in Toledo. (ph)
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