Prison official admits stealing Dali painting

31st August 2004, Comments 0 comments

31 August 2004, NEW YORK - A New York state prison official pleaded guilty to stealing a still-unrecovered work by Spanish painter Salvador Dali valued at USD 250,000, it was reported Tuesday.

31 August 2004

NEW YORK - A New York state prison official pleaded guilty to stealing a still-unrecovered work by Spanish painter Salvador Dali valued at USD 250,000, it was reported Tuesday.

Timothy Pina, 45, admitted that he had participated in the theft of the drawing and will be sentenced to five years probation as per an agreement reached with the Bronx District Attorney's Office.

He will also have to quit his job with the state corrections department.

Another former prison official, Mitchell Hochhauser, was sentenced last November to three years in jail in the same case, and Gregory Sokol, an employee at the same jail, is awaiting trial.

A fourth prison official, Benny Nuzzo, who allegedly masterminded the plot, was acquitted in June 2004.

The 5-feet-by-3-feet ink and pencil drawing depicts a crucified Christ and was displayed in a room near the entrance of the Rikers Island jail until its disappearance was discovered in March 2003.

The thieves had replaced the drawing with a fake, but the switch was noticed by authorities almost immediately.

The real Dali work has never been recovered and authorities believe it has probably been destroyed.

Dali gave the drawing to the New York state prison department as a gift in 1965 after having had to cancel a visit to the prison that he had planned.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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