Artwork stolen 13 years ago from Hobcaw Barony has been recovered

Artwork stolen 13 years ago from Hobcaw Barony has been recovered

GEORGETOWN, SC (WMBF) – The majority of the pieces of art that were reported stolen from Hobcaw Barony 13 years ago have been recovered.

According to a press release, 11 of the 17 stolen artworks were found at the Ivy Auction House in Laurens.

PBS' program "Antiques Roadshow featured a segment on the theft of the 10 paintings and seven Audubon prints in 2013.

George Chastain, executive director of the Baruch Foundation, confirmed the recovered works were found in conditions ranging from very good to poor and were removed from the scene for forensic and technical examination, the release stated.

Foundation officials believed much of the art could be restored.

"These pieces help tell the story of Hobcaw Barony; their theft left a hole in our history," Chastain said. "Thanks to the assistance and persistence of Matt Jacobson of the FBI's Greenville office and Assistant United States Attorney Rhett DeHart, they will be restored to their rightful place, both physically and narratively."

One of the paintings featured on "Antiques Roadshow" was a portrait of Belle Baruch on her prize show-jumper Souriant III. It is valued in excess of $1 million, the press release stated.

That painting has been returned to The Belle W. Baruch Foundation, which owns Hobcaw Barony.

The theft of the art was reported on July 31, 2003, by the former Hobcaw Barony curator, Samuel McIntosh, on his last day of work following his dismissal, the release stated.

McIntosh later faced criminal charges after a search of his Kingstree home reportedly led to the discovery of art and other items belonging to the Baruch Foundation, according to the press release.

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