Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Don't Try This at Home


Hoboken, N.J.: home of baseball, Frank Sinatra . . . and Mark Lugo. “Who on earth is Mark Lugo?” you ask. Why, the man allegedly responsible for at least eight thefts of priceless art by masters like Fernand L├ęger and Pablo Picasso. The striking aspect to this string of burglaries was that there was no elaborate planning involved. No late-night Oceans 11, rappel-from-the-ceiling-type maneuvers. Lugo, age 30, simply walked into galleries, lifted the priceless canvases off the walls and walked out with frame in hand. How is that even possible? William Ledford, managing partner of the William Bennet Gallery in Soho, stated, “we’ve got a Picasso installation downstairs and he sort of went right to the middle of it and basically just lifted the piece off the wall. Soho is such a retail-centric area, and everybody’s got shopping bags. Our best guesstimate is that he kind of just stuffed it in a shopping bag and off he went.” Police who raided Lugo’s home said that the works were prominently displayed around his home and he may not have even been planning on selling them. A drawing by Picasso was simply hanging on his dining room wall. All we can say is that thank goodness these works were found, and that hopefully this will lead to tighter security, and of course . . . don’t try this at home and certainly not at GMOA.

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