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Consumer Reports


Widow finds painting worth tens of thousands in attic

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | (UPI) -- ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. A Florida widow who was cleaning out her attic has found a valuable painting that was stolen from a New York apartment 29 years ago.

The painting -- valued at between $50,000 to $100,000 -- and six other works of art were confiscated by St. Petersburg Police Detective John Evans this week for return to the rightful owner.

Beatrice Renaudo, 77, of Spring Hill said her late husband apparently acquired the painting by Joacquin Torres-Garcia of Uruguay years ago, but she did not know how.

She told Evans her husband was a New York jeweler who would often trade jewels for property. There were no arrests.

The painting was stolen in August 1974 by thieves who slipped through a hatch in the roof of the apartment of Barbara Jakobson, 70, on Manhattan's east side. They also took some jewelry, the less valuable paintings and even a roll of 10-cent stamps.

"It's a thrill to hear that something you thought you'd never see again has indeed reappeared," Jakobson said.

The Jakobson family settled with its insurance company in the 1970s so it owns the art. But Jakobson said she hoped she could work something out to get it back.

Last week, Ranaudo called Todd Burchard of Burchard Galleries and said she had some works of art for sale. Burchard visited Ranaudo in Spring Hill and returned to St. Petersburg with the 1937 painting by Torres-Garcia and other works.

He called the Cecilia De Torres Gallery in New York and after some research it was determined the painting had been stolen.

"We thought it was lost forever," said Dan Pollock, director of the Cecilia De Torres Gallery. De Torres is Torres-Garcia's's daughter in law.

Torres-Garcia died in 1949 at the age of 75. He was considered the father of Latin American modern art, and painted by drawing a rectangle and painting geometric shapes and icons within it.

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