Paintings in Colorado Art Theft Recovered After Hotel Room Search

Also found: drugs and guns

Five paintings stolen in December were recently recovered.
James Sutton/Unsplash

After a painting is sold, it falls to trained professionals to prepare it to reach its final destination. There are a number of well-regarded firms out there that specialize in art handling — in other words, making sure that a potentially fragile work of art gets to its new home without incurring any damage along the way. Whether it’s sold for hundreds or hundreds of millions of dollars, no one wants their newly-purchased artwork to arrive torn, dented or otherwise marred.

Unfortunately, the art handlers transporting a number of acclaimed 20th century paintings through Colorado last month discovered that their cargo had been stolen. As Hyperallergic reports, the theft took place in Boulder and involved five paintings total. These paintings had a value of $500,000 — and at the time that they were pilfered, it wasn’t entirely clear what would become of them.

Now we know, and the answer is somewhat anticlimactic: they’d end up in a hotel room along with a number of guns and plenty of fentanyl.

According to an announcement from the City of Boulder, the city’s police department learned that the paintings were in a hotel in nearby Lakewood. The two cities’ police departments worked in tandem and discovered the paintings in a hotel room, along with stolen guns and a sizable amount of both fentanyl and methamphetamine. A suspect in the crime was subsequently arrested.

As for the paintings — Jane Freilicher’s “Burnett’s Barn,” Elaine de Kooning’s “Untitled (Madrid Series #3),” Joseph Henry Sharp’s “View of the Taos Pueblo,” Eanger Irving Couse’s “Taos Pueblo at Night,” and Ernest Martin Hennings’s “Laguna Pueblo” — one assumes they’ll be heading back to their intended destinations before long.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.