|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.
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.- Exhibition presents French Impressionist's most important and provocative paintings
2.- Sotheby's auction achieves the second-highest total for any sale ever held in London
3.- High Museum of Art premieres major United States exhibition of Alex Katz landscapes
4.- China's Great Wall is disappearing due to adverse natural conditions and reckless human activities
5.- Van Gogh to Pollock: Exhibition at Milwaukee Art Museum presents art world rebels
6.- Confederate flag furor spreads to stained glass windows at Washington National Cathedral
7.- Christie's London Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale achieves $112,908,380
8.- First comprehensive show on the history, politics and culture of homosexuality_ies opens in Berlin
9.- Sotheby's to re-launch Irish Art sales in London; Sale includes important nude by William Orpen
10.- Centre Pompidou devotes a major exhibition to Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum's work
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, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|