The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Man admits NY piece of bicoastal art-theft spree
This booking photo by released during a news conference held by the San Francisco District Attorney in San Francisco, on Oct. 27, 2011, shows Mark Lugo, The art-loving thief who stole to decorate his own apartment, among them works by Fernand Leger, Mie Yim and Pablo Picasso, has resolved his charges in New York after serving jail time in California. AP Photo/San Francisco District Attorney.

By: Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP).- A wine steward who plucked artwork off hotel and gallery walls in a bicoastal spree admitted Tuesday to stealing a $350,000 drawing in New York, resolving charges here after serving jail time in California.

An art-loving thief who stole to decorate his own apartment, according to prosecutors, Mark Lugo pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the New York case.

He admitted he took the pricey sketch by the Cubist painter Fernand Leger from a lobby gallery at Manhattan's Carlyle Hotel on June 28 — one of the New York thefts prosecutors said Lugo accomplished by lifting art off hotel walls and walking off with the works in canvas tote bags. Besides the Leger, he was charged with stealing five works by the South Korea-born artist Mie Yim from another hotel on June 14.

Lugo, 31, is set to be sentenced Feb. 28 to one to three years in prison. His lawyer, James Montgomery, noted that Lugo could get out in less than a year if he succeeds in a boot-camp-style prison program.

Lugo was publicly identified as a suspect in several New York heists shortly after his July arrest in San Francisco. Authorities there said he strolled into the Weinstein Gallery, took a $275,000 1965 Picasso drawing "Tete de Femme (Head of a Woman)" off a wall, walked down the street with the sketch under his arm and hopped into a taxi. Police tracked Lugo to a friend's apartment in nearby Napa County.

At Lugo's own apartment in Hoboken, N.J., investigators then found a $430,000 trove of stolen art on display.

Among some 19 artworks at the apartment was Leger's 1917 "Composition with Mechanical Elements," the Manhattan district attorney's office said. The drawing disappeared June 28 from an employee entrance area at a gallery in the Carlyle Hotel.

Prosecutors have said a search of Lugo's apartment turned up four other pieces — including a Picasso work — that may have been stolen from Manhattan venues. But he was charged in New York only with the thefts of the works by Leger and Yim, who's known for her disconcerting images of toy bears and other creatures.

"In an effort to display stolen art in his apartment, this repeat art thief boldly walked out of two Manhattan hotels in broad daylight" with valuable works, District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement when Lugo was arraigned in New York last month.

Lugo, a sometime sommelier and kitchen server at upscale Manhattan restaurants, also is charged in New Jersey with taking three bottles of Chateau Petrus Pomerol — together worth $6,000 — from a Wayne wine shop in April.

As for the San Francisco charges, Lugo pleaded guilty in October to grand theft. He finished his 138-day sentence on Nov. 21.

Montgomery declined to comment further Tuesday; he has previously said Lugo "had no commercial motive at all" in his actions. Lugo's San Francisco attorney, Douglas Horngrad, has called him "more like someone who was in the midst of a psychiatric episode" than a calculating art thief.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Today's News

February 9, 2012

Most ambitious exhibition of Lucian Freud's work opens at the National Portrait Gallery

Sotheby's London Impressionist & Modern art evening sale totals $125,504,018

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's unique vision of the world on view at Tate Modern

First work by African American artist Robert Seldon Duncanson enters collection of National Gallery of Art

Theater, Life, and the Afterlife: Tomb Décor of the Jin Dynasty from Shanxi at the China Institute Gallery

Works from the Peter Norton Collection to be sold in Christie's first Open sale in New York

6-metre inflatable self-portrait welcomes visitors to first Takashi Murakami exhibition in the Middle East

Exhibition of recent paintings by artist Janet Fish on view at DC Moore Gallery in New York

Rare View of artist Mark Rothko at Academy Art Museum Exhibition in Maryland

Art project by visual artist Franck de Las Mercedes spreads peace one box at a time

The estate of Countess Ahlefeldt, universal legatee of Serge Lifar, to be sold at the Hôtel des Ventes

Second edition of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation's $100,000 Future Generation Art Prize is announced

Historic DC Ashcan comic books in Heritage Auctions February 22 New York event

Luca Antonucci's "The New Nothing" opens at Cain Schulte Contemporary Art

Man admits NY piece of bicoastal art-theft spree

Worcester Art Museum promotes Susan L. Stoops to Interim Chief Curator

Per Kirkeby: A creative dialogue with Byzantine art at the Byzantine & Christian Museum

"IndiVisible" at the National Museum of the American Indian discusses African-Native American lives

Laguna Art Museum auction grosses $182,000 for museum, $50,000 more than 2011

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful