A Norman Rockwell painting went missing from storage last month and police are no closer to finding out what happened to it. The painting, called “Sport,” was sold at auction in May for over $1 million.
The New York Police Department petitioned the public for help finding the pricey Rockwell painting, which depicts a man sitting in a boat, holding a fishing rod, and wearing a yellow rain jacket.
Sport was sold at Sotheby’s auction in May by a private collector from Birmingham, Alabama. The Los Angeles Times notes that the work of art was being stored at a warehouse used by the Welpack art moving and storage company in Queens.
An anonymous spokesman from Sotheby’s told NBC News that the auction house won’t comment on the missing painting, because of the ongoing investigation into the matter by the police department.
The missing Norman Rockwell painting was the cover art for the Saturday Evening Post on April 29, 1939. It was sold on May 22. Christopher A. Marinello, director of the London-based company Art Recovery International, noted that Rockwell’s paintings are a popular target for art thieves.
Marinello also suggested that the economy may have played a part in the theft. He explained that art galleries are reducing security in areas affected by the bad economy, providing an easier target for thieves. He added, “We’re seeing more thefts from smaller museums. We’ve seen an increase in consignment fraud — people creating fakes and forgeries.”
While some stolen art is recovered days after it went missing, that hasn’t happened with the missing Norman Rockwell. However, whether it is days, weeks, or years, there is still a chance the missing painting could be found. Marinello notes that criminals who know the whereabouts of stolen art will sometimes use the information as leverage for a smaller sentence in their own case.
The NYPD hasn’t commented on the case of the missing Norman Rockwell painting, and representatives of the warehouse where the painting was stored didn’t comment to news agencies either.