Tuesday, October 23, 2007


This headline caught my eye today on my MSN homepage as I was logging onto the internet. It concerns a 1970 painting by Rufino Tamayo (whose work I have always liked) that had been stolen 20 years prior to being discovered in a pile of trash on the street in New York City by a woman named Elizabeth Gibson. The painting was titled "Tres Personajes". She claims not to know anything about modern art, but she apparently felt it might be something valuable, because she researched it & it came up on the "Antiques Roadshow" website, where it had been featured after it was stolen. It was then that she discovered that the painting was stated to be worth 1 million dollars today. The article stated that the painting was returned to its original owners, who remained anonymous. The painting is to be sold at a Sotheby's auction in November.

Now, what I want to know, which of course they didn't say, was ---what about Elizabeth? Did she get a reward for finding the painting? And why were the owners wanting to sell it after they just got it back? Very mysterious to me. Of course, they DID say that the owners had originally paid $55,000 for the painting, but they didn't say when it had been bought.

Whatever happened to "Finders keepers, losers weepers"? Just kidding! It's the old idea (hope) of finding something really valuable in someone else's discards. And it DOES happen. That phenomenon keeps all the used book dealers getting up at the crack of dawn (or before) so that they can stand in line at a Friends of the Library booksale. (I know about this firsthand, cause I have done it myself!) Another day, another story........


tammy vitale said...

Hi Christine! had to click over and read that article....and I totally agree with your questions. Still, we all hope for that trash pile pick that will make us $$$$$aires.

Judy K said...

Yes! Whatever happened to finder's keepers?? In this case though..it was stolen, they didn't really "loose it". I've hunted Friends of Library sales too! I was given a book by the librarian only to find out years later it was a limited signed copy and feel too guilty to sell it!


Christine DeCamp said...

Tammy- well, you just never know. I did a little more research after I wrote this & found out that she was getting $15,000 from the original owners (not bad) plus a finders fee from Sotheby's. It all seems a lttle strange to me & I wouldn't doubt that she is being investigated.

Judy--Thanks for stopping by & also thanks for the nice comment on my paintings you left on Alyson's blog! Glad you like them!.