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The whole of this case circles around the access right and entitlement to money or money’s worth. The investigation on the theft of the sculpture is, therefore, centered on the money and money’s worth. In this case, there are numerous parties with a vested interest in the value and valuation of the stolen item. To be able to narrow down the number of suspects and possibly identify the persons responsible for the theft, the highest beneficiaries to the theft must be singled out. Fundamentally, it is insured for 3.5 million. It is apparent that there were several past indications to forgeries, and therefore its validity and originality could, therefore, up the market price that a buyer will be willing to part with.
Among the suspects, there are those in dire need of the money due to financial problems, while others need the values worth of the item and not the actual monetary price attached to the item. These two prospects must be clearly distinguished and conceived as interdependent yet still different in the investigation. Who stole?
The item was stolen by Hector Peters and with the aid of Bridget Perkins and Lucien Higginbotham. The motive of the theft is money or money’s worth. All these parties are motivated by either of the two motives. They are also best described as spending enough time in the kitchen which offers an easy view of the conservatory. They also spend enough time in the kitchen discussing the foundation.
Why they stole?
Hector Peters has a history with Dr Felix and therefore understands her properly including the affairs of the foundation and its imminent future. He is aware that the foundation is undergoing serious financial concerns and therefore on disclosure of this information it becomes apparent that they need an urgent source of income. Hectors has experience in art selling and is aware that the sculpture is an original and is probably worth a lot of money. The publication of the story of the art seller who was facing art forgery allegations provided an opportunity for him and his new girlfriend to take advantage of Lucien unfortunate eventuality and loss.
He approached the gallery owner who is supposedly his former silent partner as described in Dorian’s book and they develop the scheme to acquire the original sculpture form the foundation Acquisition of the sculpture would allow them to recover the losses and restore their reputation as an art gallery. As Hawksblood records “I’m over three million dollars over this mess” It would also provide an opportunity to increase the value of the sculpture as its originality gave it a better outlook in the face of fakes and the rising popularity of similar pieces by Diva Goldsmith(Hawksblood 99).
How they stole?
The strategy taken by the three suspects is to penetrate the foundation and earn the trust and confidence of its members and administrators. Hector Peters makes his legitimate entrance to the foundation and gains the trust and confidence of its public relations officer Bridget Perkins. That way he was able to control the content and information released to the public and also makes an input in the press releases made.
Over this period, he had enough time and opportunity to plan and devise the robbery. On the night of the robbery, Peters and Perkins created a strategic distraction for the journalist and researcher who had in earlier years exposed the frauds that were perpetrated by a young gallery owner who was now befriending Dr Felix who was suffering from the overwhelming responsibilities of the foundation and the financial problems facing the foundation.
He assumed the identity of an artist taking interest in the collections to get closer to Dr Felix. Peters and his girlfriend maintained an observant eye on the conservatory and made sure that they led the journalist out of the kitchen just in time for Lucien Higginbotham to enter through the kitchen to falsely alarm Peters and Perkins and who still continue to occupy the journalist to ensure that Dorian remains engaged. Peters and Perkins proceed to the conservatory room after having dismissed Dorian out to get the phone and call the police.
All this is stage managed to ensure that the call from the police is made by Dr Felix’s children before Dorian could make the call because he was sent outside through the front. The kitchen and the conservatory are rather closely adjacent in the landscape setting therefore it would be possible at least to hear the sound of shattered glass all the way from the kitchen if at all Peters and Perkins were in the kitchen. They would have ably heard of the breaking but it is recorded that they. It is therefore clear they were aware of the breaking and were hiding the fact that it had actually happened under their supervision.
All along Lucien had taken the advantage of the private viewing session to leave the back window open which he used to get into the conservatory and quickly steal the sculpture and head out to the front after hiding it and going through the front window explaining the open front and back windows. All these were facilitated by the assistance of Peters and Perkins.
Hawksblood, Dorian. Fakes and Forgeries: Post- Modern Sculpture and the Problem of Authenticity, New York: New York University Press. 2010, Print.