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The art of the con strikes again! $1.3 million painting found in bushes on UES…

September 16, 2010

I couldn’t resist writing about this though it’s already all over the internet. Apparently, a drunken art courier lost Jean Baptiste Camille Corot’s “Portrait of a Girl” one night after taking it to a viewing. How one loses a painting is mystifying to me but I guess these things happen (sounds like someone will be out of a job after this). The story gets more twisted after one finds out that not only was the painting discovered in the bushes by a doorman on the UES, but also that one of the co-owners of the painting is Thomas Doyle, a proven art thief. Doyle has been convicted of stealing a Degas sculpture out from under the nose of an older gentleman on claims that he was taking it to be authenticated. He later sold it for $225,000 to an antiques dealer. On top of that, he has also served time for   $200,000 jewelry theft in Tennessee.

Seems like he’s not as crafty as John Drewe, but entertaining nevertheless. You can read about the theft and the subsequent legal mix ups here and the discovery of the painting here. How exciting! Apparently, the doorman kept the painting (in his bathroom no less!) until he realized how much it was worth. What I would give to live with a painting like that for a few days… Lucky guy!

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