Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Found: One Goya

Here's the update:  On Monday, the FBI said it had recovered the GOYA PAINTING that was stolen in the Poconos while en route from a museum in Toledo to the Guggenheim in New York City.  The FBI would not give any particulars about the circumstances of the recovery.  But, the announcement was made by agents in Newark, NJ, so possibly the painting was found in that area.  The prevailing theory is that there was so much publicity surrounding the theft, that the painting became, basically, too hot to handle.

However, while the painting has been recovered, I still ask the question:  How did it get stolen in the first place?  It was an inside job, most likely.  Well, duh.  But, the circumstances that allowed this theft to happen don't make much sense to me (novice of the art world that I am).

To wit:  The painting, which was insured for $1 million, was being taken from Toledo to New York by a professional art transport firm.  This firm had two guys in a van (or a truck, depending on which article you read).  The painting was stolen from the van (or the truck) after the guys got to Monroe County and checked into a HoJo's for the night.  In the morning, they realized that the van (or truck) had been broken into and the Goya was gone.

Here's the thing.  According to Mapquest, a trip from Toledo to NY should take roughly nine hours.  Figure that a good part of the driving is on I-80, so they could probably make it to NY in less than that.  With two guys in the van (or truck), why do they have to stop FOR THE NIGHT?  Hell, I drove, like, 12 hours from Harrisburg to Tennessee in one day.  And that was just me and the dog in the car.  You're telling me that two drivers from a PROFESSIONAL ART TRANSPORT company, can't make it from Toledo to NY in a single shot?  They ought to be able to do that even if one guy did all the driving.  And, don't you think a place like the Guggenheim could arrange to have someone there to meet the painting, no matter what time it arrived? 

Here's another thing:  The men in the van (or truck) were, as we have noted, from a PROFESSIONAL ART TRANSPORT company.  What the hell are they doing leaving a million-dollar painting in an unattended van (or truck) overnight?

And, thirdly, what the hell are they doing staying at a HoJo's?  You'd think they could stay someplace that has, oh, I don't know, a safe?????  

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