Ex-Assistant Pleads Guilty To Art Theft | KCUR

Ex-Assistant Pleads Guilty To Art Theft

Aug 28, 2014
Originally published on August 28, 2014 6:20 am
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now a story of trust betrayed. For 27 years, James Meyer worked as an assistant to the American artist Jasper Johns. Johns created this famous painting of the American flag. The colors faded as if it's been out a long time in the sun. In fact, he did multiple paintings of the flag - one sold in 2010 for almost $30 million.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Well, the painter's assistant apparently wanted a share of such riches. Yesterday, in federal court, he pleaded guilty to taking artworks from the artist's Connecticut studio. They were sold for about $6.5 million.

GREENE: He told a gallery owner that Johns gave him the art and said the sales had to remain a secret for at least eight years.

INSKEEP: The U.S. attorney said Meyer made millions by stealing and will now have to pay for that decision.

GREENE: He faces up to 10 years in prison.

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GREENE: And I'm David Greene. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.