Multi-million dollar painting has been returned to its owner

24 Oct

Electric Cord was done by Roy Lichtenstein in 1961

Missing for 42 years, a multi-million dollar painting by Roy Lichtenstein has been returned to its owner. The black and white 71 cm by 46 cm painting titled “Electric Cord” was handed over to Barbara Castelli during a news conference in New York.

The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.  “This painting ‘Electric Cord’ was done by Roy Lichtenstein in 1961. Leo Castelli, a well-known American art dealer, acquired it in the early 1960s for the bargain price of about $750. It is now worth about $4 million. It was displayed after the purchase by the Castelli Gallery for a number of years. And then in January 1970, the art gallery sent it out to be cleaned. The gallery sent it to an art restorer by the name of Daniel Goldreyer, but as most of you know by now, it never came back.”

According to court documents, the painting resurfaced in July 2012. It was located in the Hayes Storage Facility in Manhattan. According to the FBI, after Daniel Goldreyer died in 2009, his widow, Sally, discovered the painting while cleaning out the lockers of his company’s employees. Sally Goldreyer claims she did not know the painting was missing until she found a missing notice on the internet. The U.S. Attorney’s office said Goldreyer has relinquished all rights to the painting and said no court action was necessary.

A beaming Castelli said, as of now, she has no plans to sell the painting. “I think that I am going to hang it up in my home. I guess I’ll check that it is in good shape, first of all. It looks good. Maybe frame it,” she told journalists. Leo Castelli died in 1999, but his widow Barbara said the painting will always be his. “The person who really lost the painting was my husband, not me. In a certain way, one could say that is it kind of crazy that I feel so possessive about the painting myself. “She added, “I see this really more as something that belonged to my husband and I would have been happy to have it all along. I don’t know, you always feel… I mean I guess that the end of it is that I think that it’s good that things come back, basically for everybody to know that eventually things come back and that people shouldn’t take them, I guess.”

In May, the Lichtenstein painting “Sleeping Girl” sold at auction for $44.8 million

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