FBI raids Orlando Museum of Art, seizes paintings from troubled ‘Heroes and Monsters’ Basquiat exhibition | Arts Stories + Interviews | Orlando

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Photo by Macbeth Studio/courtesy OMA

FBI brokers raided Orlando Museum of Art early Friday, seizing more than two dozen paintings that designed up the controversial Heroes & Monsters: Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Thaddeus Mumford, Jr. Venice Assortment  exhibition, purported to be dropped performs by iconic artist Jean-Michael Basquiat.

The go arrived mere days in advance of the the troubled Heroes was set to sputter to an early end — almost a yr early, in fact — and journey to Italy. (Which leads us to muse idly, how quite a few instances have paintings in a museum been regarded as a ‘flight risk’ by the feds?)

In accordance to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, an FBI team descended on the museum early Friday and bundled off the Heroes paintings, while no arrests have been created, in accordance to an OMA spokesperson. The museum was shut to the community all through the raid.

The Heroes & Monsters selection of “lost Basquiat functions” was intended as a grand coup for the Orlando Museum of Artwork, but points soured nearly quickly immediately after the opening.

The New York Times posted a bombshell report questioning the veracity of the artwork. OMA head Dr. Aaron de Groft has remained adamant that the functions are reputable. But then the NYT revealed a 2nd report about an ongoing FBI Artwork Crimes investigation — with subpoenas issued — around these paintings.

OW  then looked into the two homeowners of these shed works — Michael William Force and John Leo Mangan III — and found a background of shady dealings.

“When I observed the visuals I knew they were phony,” claimed an artist and shut close friend of Basquiat to OW on issue of anonymity, “but no one requested me that.”

We are going to have extra on this tale as it develops.

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