- Associated Press - Monday, August 4, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A tip helped lead police to an Alaska Native art piece reported missing from the Juneau International Airport.

Detective Nick Garza said a woman called police Friday after reading about the silkscreen cedar painting in the newspaper. The artwork, representing the Tlingit Eagle clan, was on loan to the airport from owner Richard Poor and was reported missing in late July. The artwork and a companion piece, a silkscreen painting of a raven, hung on nails on the waiting room walls on the first floor of the airport’s old wing.

Garza said the woman told police a man had shown the piece to her and others in an attempt to determine its worth.

Garza told the Juneau Empire (https://bit.ly/1sncb8x ) that the man said he found the piece in the trees along a trail near the airport. Garza said the man turned over the artwork and said he was not a thief.

The case was sent to the district attorney’s office for consideration of possible charges.

The painting was returned to Poor, who plans to re-hang it this week.

Poor said the piece probably is worth about $125, but it holds sentimental value. He said he was good friends with the artists, the late Jim and May Osborne, who were born and raised in Hoonah and lived in Juneau for years before returning to their hometown.

Poor said he bought the two pieces - the item that went missing and the companion artwork - about a decade ago. The companion piece remained at the airport.

Marc Cheatham, deputy airport manager and airport security coordinator, told the Empire last week that incidents like these are rare, given the surveillance at the airport. Police patrol sections of the airport not secured by the Transportation Security Administration.


Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

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