FBI Offers $10,000 Reward For $1 Million Painting

waterworks400_1.jpgINQUIRER: On June 23, workers at the Philadelphia Park Systems at 15th and Arch Streets discovered a piece of art that had long hung on an office wall “was no longer there,” said Jerri Williams, an FBI spokeswoman. Though other art was on display, only the Water Works had gone missing. The Mona Lisa it ain’t. Politely, it could be described as a picturesque view of a group of colonaded buildings on a river. Some might discount it as a dull architectural rendering. Painted in 1842 by John A. Woodside, the canvas shows the famed Water Works before the construction of the Art Museum. Its owners want it back. Officially appraised by the FBI at $75,000, some experts have put the true value of the painting closer to $1 million due to its cultural significance. The FBI’s Philadelphia division is home to one of the most aggressive teams in the nation investigating the theft of art. The squad has recovered more than $215 million worth of stolen treasures since 2005. MORE

DAILY NEWS: Garden State Park racetrack hasn’t paid a winning bet in seven years, but some determinedGardenStateracehorse_1.jpg thieves might be riding one horse straight to a big payoff. “We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Detective Sgt. Joseph Vitarelli. The thieves will probably hack the horse up and sell it as scrap, Vitarelli said. They would have done better selling the statue to an unsuspecting art collector. The studio that sculpted it says it’s worth at least $500,000. Vitarelli says a report was filed Monday night, but no one is sure when the horse thieves struck. A Caterpillar front-end loader that was parked 100 feet from the statue left tracks leading right up to the pedestal that supported the missing steed, Vitarelli said. Vitarelli said that investigators aren’t sure whether the front-end loader was used in the heist and wouldn’t say if they think it was an inside job. Even if the front-end loader was used to knock the piece down, Vitarelli said he still can’t fathom how it was transported out. MORE

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