[intro]It’s the Story that Won’t Go Away[/intro]
The Monterey County Sheriff’s department is not very happy with Benjamin Amadio. They’ve taken the highly unusual step of speculating in the press that Amadio might have been trying to defraud his business partner, Dr. Kennaugh, in some way. That seems unlikely from the strange story that has emerged from Pebble Beach. Still, the mystery remains why the two art collectors have been simultaneously courting press attention while frustrating the sheriff’s in their request for information. The Boston Globe outlines all of this but adds a little more information to the backstory:
A Boston real estate agent, who arranged the sale of Kennaugh’s home and spoke on the condition that he not be named, said the walls of the residence were covered with artwork, but he did not know if they were authentic. […]
Jerry Seagreaves, an agent for Farmers Insurance in Capitola, Calif., confirmed yesterday that he transferred an insurance policy from Massachusetts to California for Kennaugh; it provided coverage for the contents of his home and seven of the artworks which were stolen. Seagreaves said the stolen artworks are covered by about $70,000 to $75,000 in insurance.
Seagreaves said he had not appraised the artwork before transferring the policy, since the policy was remaining with the same company, AIG. He said he was awaiting documentation, including the appraisal, from an insurance agent in Boston.
Given what is known about the art, the theft and the behavior of the victims, it would seem logical to conclude that this was a fairly straightforward burglary that gained dimension in the telling and re-telling. We’re left with a stalemate as a face-saving measure. In either case, the fitting conclusion to this story should be that more art thefts should get this kind of exposure, it might help solve some of them.