US seek­ing as­sis­tance to find 2 of six stolen N.C. Wyeth paint­ings

The China Post - - ARTS -

The U. S. Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion is of­fer­ing a re­ward of up to US$20,000 for help in find­ing two N.C. Wyeth paint­ings stolen from a home in Port­land, Maine.

A to­tal of six Wyeth paint­ings were stolen from the home of a busi­ness­man in 2013, and FBI Spe­cial Agent El­iz­a­beth Ri­vas in Los An­ge­les says the per­son re­spon­si­ble for tak­ing the paint­ings re­mains a mys­tery.

Four were re­cov­ered from a pawn shop in Bev­erly Hills, Cal­i­for­nia, in De­cem­ber, and are es­ti­mated to be worth up to US$2 mil­lion. But the re­main­ing two were never found.

On Tues­day, the FBI an­nounced the re­ward and asked for the public’s help to find the miss­ing paint­ings, iden­ti­fied as “The En­counter on Fresh­wa­ter Cliff” and “Go Dut­ton, and that Right Speed­ily.”

Three men have been pros­e­cuted in the theft, in­clud­ing Os­car Roberts, an as­pir­ing rap­per who used the stolen paint­ings to se­cure a US$100,000 loan from a Bev­erly Hills pawn shop. In April, Roberts was sen­tenced to more than two years in fed­eral prison.

The owner of the pawn shop, Yossi Dina, alerted po­lice. The shop, The Dina Col­lec­tion, is fea­tured in a re­al­ity TV se­ries, “Bev­erly Hills Pawn.”

Lawrence Estrella, of Worces­ter, Mas­sachusetts, pleaded guilty to in­ter­state trans­porta­tion of stolen prop­erty for trans­port­ing four of the six stolen paint­ings to Cal­i­for­nia and was sen­tenced to more than seven years in prison.

Dean Coroniti, of North Hol­ly­wood, Cal­i­for­nia, and for­merly of Bos­ton, pleaded guilty to pos­ses­sion of stolen prop­erty. He is sched­uled to be sen­tenced in Oc­to­ber.

FBI of­fi­cials said they be­lieve the two re­main­ing paint­ings are some­where in New Eng­land. How­ever, David Bowdich, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor in charge of the FBI’s Los An­ge­les field of­fice, also said the two paint­ings could be any­where in the world and like other stolen art, could take decades to find.

“We are anx­ious to have this unique and ir­re­place­able art­work re­cov­ered and re­turned to its Maine owner,” Thomas E. De­la­hanty, U.S. At­tor­ney for the Dis­trict of Maine, said in a state­ment.

The re­ward of up to US$20,000 is be­ing of­fered to any­one who can pro­vide in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the re­cov­ery of the two paint­ings.

AP

This poster re­leased by the U.S. Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion on Tues­day, Aug. 18 shows one of two miss­ing N.C. Wyeth paint­ings stolen from a home in Port­land, Maine. On Tues­day, the FBI an­nounced the re­ward and asked for the public’s help to find the miss­ing paint­ings, iden­ti­fied as “The En­counter on Fresh­wa­ter Cliff” and “Go Dut­ton, and that Right Speed­ily.”

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