Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"He invokes the law of the street — finders keepers, losers weepers"

In the news today, a Warhol dollar-sign painting recovered almost a decade after it was stolen from a SoHo gallery. The New York Times story is here.

The story hints that, unlike the typical recovered work scenario (which pits an innocent third-party purchaser against the victim of the theft), here the current owner may not have the cleanest of hands: it notes "some odd coincidences" in the case, including that the current owner, "a man who has admittedly lived a hard-knock life," was "raised on Broome Street a few blocks from the gallery ... where the painting was stolen in 1998. Some public records show he lived there at that time, though Mr. Beltrez said he moved in 1989."

Chris Marinello, general counsel of the Art Loss Register, is quoted as saying a police investigation of the theft was continuing, but no criminal charges had yet been filed.