In the middle of routine art theft and forfeiture story, Kate Taylor reveals this fascinating turn of events. Even though the owner of a Pissarro monotype is losing her $100,000 asset because the work was listed on the Art Loss Register which Sotheby’s consulted before putting it up for sale, the thief Emil Guelton remains free:
Mr. Guelton has not been prosecuted for the theft by French authorities, Ms. Hoffman said. “He’s living on a boat in the South of France and has a pied-à-terre in Paris,” Ms. Hoffman said.
The prosecutors who brought the case, from the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, declined to comment on Mr. Guelton’s legal situation.
Ms. Hoffman said that a more valuable artwork was stolen from the museum the same day as Ms. Davis’s Pissarro, and French officials have not pursued that work with similar gusto. That piece, a Renoir oil painting titled “Buste de Femme,” sold at Sotheby’s in 1987 for $154,000 to a Japanese collector.
Treasured Pissarro Print Turns Into Costly Headache (New York Times)