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Minnesota businessman missing two paintings worth $7.4 million



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Minnesota businessman missing two paintings worth $7.4 million


NAPLES, FLA. (AP) –– The chief executive of the Twin Cities-based APi Group had two paintings stolen worth more than $7 million stolen from his beachfront home in Florida.

The paintings by French Impressionist masters Renoir and Monet were stolen after someone entered an unlocked door of Lee Anderson’s home while the security alarm was off, police said.

The family’s insurance company has offered a $100,000 reward.

The stolen paintings were a Claude Monet work titled “Paysage a Vetheuil,” valued at $4.7 million, and another oil by Pierre Auguste Renoir titled “La Place de Trinite,” valued at $2.7 million.

The paintings were stolen over the weekend of December 28. Insurance adjuster Harold Smith said nothing else was taken from the home.

“It seems like they were only after the paintings,” said Smith, the adjuster for American International Group Inc.

The thieves left footprints on the beach behind the home. Family members may have returned to the home during the theft, but since they immediately rode an elevator to the home’s upper floors it was possible they were never aware of the intruders, Smith said.

Anderson, a longtime business leader, could not be reached for comment. He serves as chairman and chief executive officer of the APi Group, a company based in the Twin Cities that provides fire protection systems, construction services, manufacturing and distribution of industrial products.

Annual sales exceed $726 million, according to the company website.

“What is unusual is that thefts of this value and this nature more often we see from galleries and museums,” said David Shillingford, director of operations for the Art Loss Register in New York.

Shillingford said the odds of recovering the paintings were high, either in the short term through police work or rewards or over the long term when someone tries to sell it. The Art Loss Register keeps an international database that includes more than 120,000 stolen works.

“Sooner or later there is going to be a dealer or collector who is offered it who will come to us first,” he said.

If not used for 1-10, opening para needs change

Plan for $950 million Guggenheim in lower Manhattan scrapped

By Lukas I. Alpert

Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK CITY (AP) –– A plan to build a $950 million Guggenheim Museum –– a rambling titanium structure that would have risen cloudlike out of the East River atop giant stilts –– has been scrapped because of economic constraints, the foundation in charge of the museum announced Monday.

In an e-mail, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation announced that it, along with the city and the state’s Economic Development Corp, had pulled out of the lower Manhattan project because “the current economic climate” made it “not realistic at this time.”

The proposal, which was unveiled in April 2000, would have built a 40- to 45-story structure on three city-owned piers at the end of Wall Street overlooking the East River.

The design, by Frank Gehry, would have provided 575,000 square feet of museum space, a large public plaza, a sculpture garden, two theaters and an outdoor skating rink. Most of the funding would have been privately raised.

The building itself, which Gehry described as “cloud-like,” would have resembled the wispy, twisting titanium and glass structure he designed for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

“The Guggenheim’s proposal to construct a grand cultural facility on the East River was an inspiring and magnificent concept,” said Peter Lewis, chairman of the foundation.

He said that the museum remained committed to the development of lower Manhattan and that he hoped the project would be completed on a different scale and perhaps at a different location.

The decision to scrap the plan comes as a blow to the Guggenheim foundation, which has always struggled to display its large collection of modern art because of the relatively small size of its current headquarters on the Upper East Side’s Museum Mile.

The original Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, a landmark white spiral structure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is one of the city’s best-loved architectural gems. A ten-story wing was added in 1992, the same year the Guggenheim opened a small branch in SoHo. The museum also has branches in Berlin and Venice, Italy.

The Guggenheim recently closed a branch in Las Vegas and has cut its staff and operating budget over the past year.

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