New York art courier, James Haggerty, is at the centre of a bizarre story in which the Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot masterpiece, “Portrait of a Girl,” valued at $1.3m was reported lost by Mr Haggerty after a night of drunken excess.
The revered painting was due to be shipped to a Manhattan hotel on July 28 for the inspection of a potential buyer. After meeting with London gallery owner, Offer Waterman, CCTV footage shows Mr Haggerty heading back to the front desk, stowing the artwork and returning to the bar, alone.
Surveillance cameras recorded a boozy Mr Haggerty after his time in the bar, recollecting the masterpiece as he continued to stumble past the hotel’s doorman. Two hours later it was missing.
“I think he’s a complete fumbling idiot,” said co-owner of the painting, Kristyn Trudgeon, who is currently suing Haggerty for $1.3 million – the work’s estimated value. The case is being treated as highly suspicious.