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Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Man held in $1 million theft of Goya painting

October 25, 2007

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— Susan Tranquada said she wasn't impressed when her boyfriend showed her an old painting last year that he said he'd found in the basement.

"When you look at it, the faces of the children, they're scary," she said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, federal authorities arrested the heavily tattooed trucker and charged him with stealing the work - an 18th-century masterpiece painted by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes that had been swiped from a truck on its way to the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan last November.

Steven Lee Olson contacted the FBI last year, telling the agency he found the 1778 oil painting, "Children With a Cart," in the basement of a rented home in Succasunna, N.J., Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Kosto told a federal judge in Newark on Wednesday.

Olson contacted his lawyer, who arranged to turn the painting over to the FBI at his Hackensack office.

Without disclosing details, authorities said they slowly and meticulously traced the theft of the painting, leading to an indictment Monday that was unsealed with Olson's arrest.

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