The New York Sun reported last night that a 1778 work by Francisco de Goya, Children With Cart, pictured here, was stolen near Scranton, Penn. It was being transported to The Guggenheim for an exhibit on Spanish Painting. The FBI is investigating, and has offered a reward of $50,000. The painting is valued at about $1.1 million. The work had been housed at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. It looks to be from his earlier career, before the lead in his paint may have caused his deafness, which resulted in some fantastically-bizarre works.
Why was this work stolen? Surely, the market for the work is quite small, as nobody will be able to claim good faith in buying or selling the work. The thieves may be attempting to ransom the work back to the museum. Criminal penalties are far lower for kidnapping a work of art than they would be for, say, kidnapping a person. The other possibility is that a wealthy collector may have requested it stolen for her own private collection. Some have termed this hypothetical theft-on-demand the Dr. No possibility. If the work is returned, look for it to gain in notoriety.