Wednesday, October 22, 2008

College Loses Painting Worth Millions

A Tremendous Loss,' Professor Says

Wellesley College has lost a 1921 painting by French cubist Fernand Leger that was likely worth millions of dollars, officials admitted Wednesday."Woman and Child" had been in the collection of the college's Davis Museum and Cultural Center since 1954.After its return last year from an exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the college had stored the painting in a crate “while a museum construction project was completed,” said Wellesley President H. Kim Bottomly.

Months later, it was nowhere to be found. The museum “has not determined what happened to the painting or its current whereabouts,” said Bottomly. The museum didn't realize the 21-inch-by-25-inch painting was gone until last November. Officials don’t know whether the painting was stolen or might have been mistakenly thrown out when packing crates were discarded.A Wellesley museum official "asked me, 'Do you have our Leger, by chance?' " Oklahoma City Museum of Art registrar Matthew C. Leininger said. "I said, 'No, why are you asking?' That's when she said they couldn't find it. I said, 'Oh, boy.'"“It's a tremendous loss for the college, “ said Jacqueline Marie Musacchio, associate professor of art at Wellesley.Police were told and the museum's insurer, Travelers Insurance, has paid a claim though neither the company nor the college would say how much. Last year, Leger's paintings sold for an average of $2.8 million.“The loss of this valuable and irreplaceable painting has saddened the entire community, and we still hope it will be found,” said Bottomly.Travelers is offering a $100,000 reward for the painting.

Me personally. I think this is hilarious, I guess the saying is true...a fool and his money(art in this instance) are quickly parted. But in this instance it's a whole University that played the fool this time.

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Columbus, Ohio, United States