Original Art Stories: Ivan Reis's Nightmare Part II

A while back I reported on the art that you're seeing to the right, the original cover art to issue #21 of Green Lantern by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert and what happened to it. The story was one of those horror stories whereby the art was reported as being stolen in transit. One of the more eagle eyed amongst my little blog readership, Rafael Domene, saw the art in question on eBay and quickly fired down an email to let me know that it's reared it's head (so to speak) once more. The seller describes himself as being someone who is a, "...freight recovery company that specializes in buying and selling salvaged merchandise. The NPS Store deals mainly with lost, misdirected, overstocked and distressed types of merchandise from various sources throughout the United States. We currently offer merchandise."

To me that sets off all kinds of warning bells, especially when you look at what happened to the art the first time around. According to collector (and the real owner of the art) Matt Hull, "The piece was shipped via UPS and only the outside packaging arrived. The packaging had been obviously cut open with a box cutter or knife and the artwork removed. Officially UPS said that it probably fell out and got lost along the way, however unofficially they said it was most likely stolen by one of their package handlers."

Call me odd (and many have and still do) but that sounds very much like the kind of item that someone who mainly sells items that are 'lost, misdirected, overstocked and distressed' would possibly find themselves in possession of. Certainly the images show a cover that appears to be still packaged by the original seller (housed in plastic on a backing board) and it does make me wonder - if the art is 'lost in transit', an owner places a claim, files a police report and does everything right then why, when the art is 'found', it's then sold on to a wholesale dealer? Why is not returned to the rightful owner? Mysteries!

I've emailed the owner of the art to confirm the status of the art and if it is indeed still classified as stolen then action can be taken immediately. For now consider this a mere heads up in case anyone is thinking of bidding on art that might well be stolen art. If it's not stolen then I'll happily adjust it's status, but for the time being be warned - police reports were filed and if it is stolen then you might not be holding on to it for long. Let's see where this one ends up.


Anonymous said…
If a shipping company loses something, the owner of the something is paid an insurance claim, the something is then found and sold through the system that the shipping company uses in exactly this situation, how is anything really wrong? If you are paid your insurance claim, how do you own the thing you were paid for? It becomes UPS property to do with as they see fit.

The more interesting result will be: if the cover was sold so fast, did the dealer underprice the item? Will the item sell for more now that it's available to all? Will the current economic climate result in the final bid being below the original selling price? Will the person that received the insurance money go after the cover? Will they be willing to go the full amount, or more, they previously paid? If they get it for less, will they give some of that insurance money back to UPS?
Danny said…
If it were me then I'd be fairly pissed off that UPS didn't give me eh opportunity to consider the option of paying back the insurance money and claiming the cover. However if there is a police report - and in this case I'm sure there is - then the cover would still be considered to be stolen. That makes things very interesting...

As for what is wrong - the package arrived, sealed, but the art was missing. This means an employee presumably opened the package, took the art out and resealed the package. Hence I'd want the art.
Anonymous said…
The answer is, once the "something" is recovered, the person who had his item stolen retrieves it, and the insurer retrieves the money that they had to pay for the stolen item.

So, you would be entitled to the art, however, you'd have to pay back UPS for the insurance money they reimbursed you.

Nice work, Detective Danny!
George "The Stooges"

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