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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, FBI Bronco Busters !!

RIVIERA BEACH — Police say they found two stolen sculptures worth nearly $4 million Thursday.

The two statues - a $3 million piece called "The Bronco Buster" by Frederic Remington and a $675,000 sculpture called "The Falling Man" by Auguste Rodin - were stolen from a Singer Island condo in the Tiara condominium building in 2006, according to a Riviera Beach police report.

The owner tried to find the thief on his own and just reported the crime to police on Feb. 26 of this year, said city spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown.

Riviera Beach police and Federal Bureau on Investigations agents investigated the thefts until a tip led them to a home in Palm Beach Gardens, Brown said. There they found both statues. The statues have been taken into police custody.

The home where the statues were found and its occupants were not identified by police. Nobody has been arrested, but Brown said police are still investigating and charges are pending. She would not disclose what the owners of the home told police about how they obtained the multi-million-dollar artwork.

Rodin was a French sculptor who died in 1917 and is most widely known for his "Thinking Man" sculpture. Remington was an American painter and sculptor who died in 1909 and is best known for his artwork on the American West.

Police detain men suspected of Zrzavý, Spála art theft

Hradec Kralove, East Bohemia, March 9 (CTK) - The police have arrested two men suspected of the theft of valuable works by Czech painters Jan Zrzavy and Vaclav Spala from the museum in Novy Bydzov, east Bohemia, last November, and secured the paintings, police told journalists Monday.

One of the men was stealing on the spot, the other one allegedly organised the theft.

The police have also found four out of six stolen books, 18 out of 23 historical coins and most of jewels stolen.

Zrzavy (1890-1977) and Spala (1885-1946) are among the most prominent Czech modern painters.

Detectives did not rule out the possibility that some objects have already ended up abroad.

The two men, both of them unemployed with a criminal record, face up to 12 years in prison, if found guilty. They have been taken into custody.

Pavel Hochman, deputy head of the regional state attorney's office in Hradec Kralove, said if the total value of the objects stolen exceeded five million crowns, the perpetrators may face up to 15 yeas in prison, if found guilty.

Theft of valuable works of art is relatively rare in east Bohemia.

In 2003 thieves stole six paintings by Josef Capek (1887-1945) from the museum in Male Svatonovice, causing a damage of 6.5 million crowns. The thieves were caught and sent to prison for 8.5 to nine years in 2005.

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