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Protecting Passions

Protecting art takes a dramatic turn

PCG’s Art Collection Management team solves problems with unique circumstances on a regular basis, but not every story could inspire a movie script. Here’s a recent incident that demonstrates the more extraordinary side of mitigation.

A client learned that a painting in his collection had turned up for sale at a local auction house. He quickly determined it had been stolen during a recent home renovation when much of the collection had been moved into storage. The client, a high-profile individual, did not want any publicity around the theft but did want the painting back. His broker contacted us to see if we had any suggestions.

Armed with the pertinent facts, we turned to our partners at K2 Intelligence who devised a plan. Within 24 hours, they showed up at the auction house with details and photographs and informed the auctioneer—a reputable dealer who was not suspected of being involved in the theft—that they had reason to believe he had been given a stolen work to sell. After presenting the individual with evidence, along with a letter from AIG stating that K2 Intelligence was working on our behalf, he agreed to turn over the piece. The K2 Intelligence representative personally hand-delivered the painting to the rightful owner that same day and is now coordinating with local authorities to address the initial theft.

A critical aspect of our private collections capabilities is aligning with best-in-class partners and vendors who supplement our services to collector clients. While we are all aware of K2 Intelligence’s expertise in the fields of cyber and personal security, the fact that they also solved an art heist caper is duly impressive!