Saturday, May 07, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Adams Tapestry Recovered in Sting, When Will They Ever Learn ???

Stolen $75,000 tapestry recovered in undercover SFPD sting operation

A piece of artwork — valued at $75,000 and last seen on display at Moscone Center before it was stolen eleven years ago — was recovered this week after San Francisco Police officers conducted an undercover sting operation to arrest the alleged thief.

Police Inspectors apprehended Margarita Andino, 51, of San Francisco and booked her on felonious possession of stolen property.

Investigators said she ended up with the artwork after someone smuggled one of three sections of a tapestry piece entitiled “Pond in Golden Gate Park” by the late artist Mark Adams out of Moscone Center where it had been on temporary display from its home location at San Francisco International Airport.

The entire three-piece tapestry work was valued at $250,000 total, police said.

For eleven years, the artist presumed the work would never be recovered and began work on a replacement section for the art display.

Adams, a resident of the city, died in 2006.

This week, Police Inspectors were notified by the San Francisco Art Commission who reported that someone had contacted the late artist’s estate claiming they were in possession of the panel and offered to sell the artwork back.

Undercover investigators, posing as agents for the estate, contacted the suspect and identified her as Andino. Police served a search warrant and recovered the missing tapestry piece in her possession on Wednesday.

The three-piece tapestry work is currently on display at a gallery inside SFO’s new Terminal 2. The original piece that had been stolen has been booked into evidence by investigators.

It is unknown whether the Art Commission — which maintains the SFO gallery — will restore Adams’s replacement with the original rendition.

Contact the Beat at

No comments: