This is a very interesting article, but someone needs to do some proper editing.
Mahonri Young wasn't the namesake of the school's grandson....he was the
school's namesake's grandson. Also, "shined" is NOT the correct
word...it is "shone." Honestly, I'm really amazed at some of the
writing that manages to get printed in the Deseret News sometimes. It's a great
paper and I love it, but there really needs to be some improvement in the
writing and editing.I'm thrilled that BYU got this painting back and
I hope they can get the others back. It's terrible how many works of art have
been stolen and there's no excuse for it.
Great article. Happy BYU recovered the stolen painting but I'm a little
amused/sad about the recovery process and Lemon's boast, "It also sends the
message to the art world that we aren't just going to roll over what else is out
there that is ours. If we find it, and we have enough of a case file on it to
prove that it belongs to us, then we will go after it." The message, it
appears, is 'we will come after you will a big check book and pay you handsomely
for your ill-gotten booty.' Maybe that is how it works in stolen art
recovery...it's just sad.
I wonder how much art will survive the second coming?My guess: Not
But who at BYU was responsible for these pieces of art work being lost in the
There is so much more to this story and the other missing pieces than can be
alluded to in this article, no matter how it is written. Fascinating story of
good intentions, ineptness, poor strategic planning and amazing detective work.
Officer Lemon should be heartily thanked for his efforts, the results which may
not be seen for decades.
Rock wrote: "I wonder how much art will survive the second coming?"My guess: Much more than you think. Great art is an expression of the
noblest of human aspirations. There is a great deal of art in the Louves and
other art museums that would be appropriate to hang in the temples. Remember th
13th Article of Faith?
@AzTim"The message, it appears, is 'we will come after you will
a big check book and pay you handsomely for your ill-gotten booty.' Maybe that
is how it works in stolen art recovery...it's just sad"It will
probably never be known who at BYU allowed the painting to be stolen, so the
best BYU can do is to show the painting belongs to them and to negotiate with
the current owner to get the painting back. The present owner shouldn't be
penalized for having the painting when the painting was purchased in good faith.
To them, the painting is not "ill-gotten booty". Negotiating to get
the painting back for half the current price is reasonable.
@The RockSo do you think the 2nd coming entails the destruction of
all mans great acheivments? I don't. I would think the great art, the great
literature, the great things will be preserved for the most part.
@ Allen, the thing is, there were a lot of paintings that disappeared.For those of you talking about the second coming, please stop. It is silly
and idle speculation for which none of you know the answers. Such a discussion
The Rock,Your belief clearly stems from the points of doctrine
regarding 'not taking anything with you' and how we only will have our
knowledge, etc. Am I right?I certainly believe that there is no
point in placing value on possessions. I've seen people panic every time they
ding their car (small dings), scratch a repairable item, spill water on carpet,
and so on... and for what? More stress? We certainly should take care of things,
but there is no real human value to be placed in something you can't keep
forever. I only intend to illustrate that I understand this principle.However, If I wrote poetry and could recite it line by line by memory- then I
would certainly keep that with me. Why would God allow that but refuse a
painting that someone dear to me made and is now deceased. I will always cherish
this painting and I do place value in it. Would I be upset if it burned in a
fire? Yes, only that I had lost something. Would I hold onto that feeling? No,
because I believe that what is righteous will be fully restored to its place.Will the Christus statue at temple square remain? Will a non-religious
painting from a very righteous person remain? Will the Mona Lisa remain?The truth is that none of us know where 'the line is' or what sort of
line that may even exist. What we do know is that God is a loving God and that
righteousness will not be destroyed. With that, I don't personally believe
everything will be lost, just everything that is not good. That's my thought
Glad that security has been beefed up. It's amazing it was so lax in the first
place!Stop wasting space on arguing about the Second Coming. What
does it matter in the bigger scheme of things if these survive? They are
beautiful now and worthy of our time and appreciation.
@EsquireYou're right; there were a lot of paintings stolen. We can
classify the paintings into two groups. (1) The person purchasing a painting
didn't know the painting was stolen. (2) The person purchasing a painting did
know the painting was stolen. My previous comment applies to the first group,
and AzTim's comment applies to the second group. Enough time has passed since
the paintings were stolen, that it is probably impossible to know to which group
a particular painting belongs. I think that BYU has no choice but to assume a
particular painting is in the first group, and that is what BYU did in the
example given in the article.
Ops... sorry... I forgot to change my default name of "Be fair" to my
real name of "Allen".
Good work Arnie! You're a good man...keep it up!
The even more interesting part of this story is what was NOT written. The
article says no one noticed the departure of between $4 million and $6 million
dollars in arts works "via shadowy transactions shrouded in secrecy."
Really? Just how did that happen? What were those "shadowy transactions?
Who was behind them? The article also said Lt. Lemmon "decided to
investigate the years of ongoing rumors of fraud and thievery within the BYU art
department." What were the results of that investigation? The
investigative work to find the missing art piece(s) is fascinating, but what
about the proverbial "rest of the story?"
Probably went the same way my imported rare chess set was removed from a display
case along with the dolls I brought back from Germany, which were also on
display. I saw some of dolls in a professor's office, but he refused to give
them back. My sister's initials were on the bottom, but he still refused to
It would be easy to get into the storage areas. I know when I was still working
and took over the operations and maintenance at the school I had an inventory of
all the keys the staff had. I found 17 missing site masters, which former
administrators, department chairs and counselors had. They were never asked to
return them and so they kept them so they could go anywhere on campus they
wanted to. I took them all back and many were upset at that. They never looked
at it that they were dishonest by keeping the site master. Eventually we
modernized the campus and did a new key system so the only ones who had a site
master were the 7 administrators. All others had keys based on their
assignments. Each June we had all keys checked in which the staff had in their
possession and gave them back in the fall. If anyone left the school without
turning back the keys their paycheck was withheld until the keys were returned.
As a result our loss of supplies was greatly reduced. I was the only person on
campus permitted to assign keys. If someone went to the principal he referred
them to me and told them it was my decision alone which key they would get.
Considering the second coming: My thought was that the earth would be burned at
His coming. I also thought that some art would be preserved. I have seen some in
the temples.It is possible that much of the worlds most inspiring
art would be brought to the city of Zion for safe keeping knowing that Zion
would be caught up at His coming.If all that is good could be
preserved that would be wonderful. Why only art and literature? Many buildings
are works of art. I have seen engineering designs for equipment that are not
only technically excellent but also works of art in their own way.Sure, preserve that which is worthy of heaven. Once we see what is in heaven
we may no longer consider anything of this world to be worthy of that place. An
earthy master piece may be doggerel there.
I refuse to read such a long article, particularly after reading this intro:"A beautiful oil and canvas painted by the hand of an American
master, it was stolen sometime between 1970 and 1985. Once a persistent
detective determined it was missing"So, this persistent
detective determined it was missing during a ..... 15 year time period? What am
I missing here? :-)
I can't imagine them having much luck with this strategy. Simply saying
"we have no record of it being sold" at the same time admitting that
they didn't keep really good records or even track of where things were, doesn't
prove to me that the paintings were not sold or given away in a legitimate
manner. With some of the players dead, the odds of proving otherwise are not
The perp is well known, but he is at his final reward and beyond the reach of
earthly courts. Recovering stolen art including Holocaust confiscations is a
developing legal field and will be with us for a long time.
The thief is probably known by the detective. Sickening all the way around.
Facinating story! Can Mr Lemmon come help me recover family antiques that were
stolen years ago!?
Wow...this is an article about BYU right? Sounds more like a den of thieves.