Saturday, November 18, 2006

An inside job?

From today's New York Times:

"Federal investigators have concluded that thieves armed with detailed shipping information were behind the removal of a Goya painting from a truck en route to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from Ohio last week, law enforcement officials said Friday. The 1778 painting ... was packed inside several nested crates aboard a locked unmarked truck used by a professional art transporter. The crated painting was removed from an outer shipping container in the truck while it was parked at a Howard Johnson Inn near Bartonsville, Pa. The two drivers checked into the hotel around 11 p.m. on Nov. 7, according to the motel manager .... He said the white midsize truck was left in an unlighted parking lot adjacent to the hotel, out of sight of the hotel’s rooms and the main office. When the drivers returned to the truck at about 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 8, the locks had been broken and the painting, insured for $1 million, was gone, law enforcement officials said."

Full story here. David Nishimura says: "personally, I'm more inclined to believe it a case of sloppiness and stupidity (in abundant supply) taken advantage of by opportunistic predators (also, alas, in abundant supply)."