J.H. KOEKKOEK (Dutch, 1778-1851). STORMY WEATHER

Almost anything can happen with art recovery work and it usually does.  This Koekkoek painting was stolen (among others) from the theft victim in 2003. The police raided a local pub which had been suspected of serving as a ‘fence’ for stolen goods as well as serving a good pint.

The pub owner was actually a former police officer and, obviously, ‘one of the boys’.   In what can only be described as an error in policing, this stolen painting and others were returned…to the pub owner instead of the theft victim without any administrative hearing.

The painting then appeared for sale at Sotheby’s in London enraging the theft victim and encouraging him to file a formal complaint against the police.  Chris Marinello, acting on behalf of the theft victim, negotiated a release of the painting from Sotheby’s consignor and a confidential settlement with the attorneys for the police department which saw the theft victim fully compensated for the loss of his artwork.