Goya painting stolen en route to exhibition at New York City's Guggenheim

Tuesday, November 14th 2006, 5:24 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) A painting by famed Spanish artist Francisco de Goya was stolen as it was being transported to an exhibition, two museums announced.

The painting, "Children with a Cart,'' disappeared last week while en route to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan, the museum announced Monday in a joint release with Ohio's Toledo Museum of Art, which owned the oil painting.

At the time of the theft, the picture was in the care of a professional art transporter, the museums said. The painting disappeared in the area of Scranton, Pa.

The image of four children at play, completed in 1778, was insured for about $1 million and was slated to be exhibited with about 135 paintings by Spanish masters.

The FBI was investigating the case, and the insurer has offered a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the recovery of the artwork.

"We're hoping that we're going to get a number of tips,'' said Jerri Williams, a spokeswoman for Philadelphia's FBI division. "To vet the tips, we've decided to release as few details as possible. If that doesn't provide fruitful information, of course, we'll provide more details.''

The painting, measuring nearly 5-foot high and 3-foot wide, "would be virtually impossible to sell and therefore has no value on the open market,'' the museums said in the release.