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Art Stolen 32 Years Ago From Stockbridge Back Home

By Paul Burton, WBZ-TV
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Seven beautiful pieces of valuable stolen art have been missing for more than 30 years. Now they're back in the hands of owner Michael Bakwin. (credit: CBS)

Seven beautiful pieces of valuable stolen art have been missing for more than 30 years. Now they’re back in the hands of owner Michael Bakwin. (credit: CBS)

WBZ-TV's Paul Burton (Photo: WBZ-TV) Paul Burton
Paul Burton is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. Burto...
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BOSTON (CBS) — Seven beautiful pieces of valuable stolen art have been missing for more than 30 years.

As of Wednesday, the last two paintings are now back in the hands of their rightful owner.

“It’s nice to see my old friends back again and thank you,” owner Michael Bakwin said with a big smile.  “When you have them taken away from you, you feel that something has left your life a big whole there and now it’s wonderful to have them back.”

In 1978, Michael Bakwin’s Stockbridge home was robbed. The thief made off with millions of dollars of artwork which Bakwin’s family collected.

Investigators retrieved the paintings when the thieves tried to sell them at auction in London.

“I had to make a quick decision and I lied to Sothebys deliberately in order to get the picture into the jurisdiction. I told them they could sell the pictures and then we ceased the pictures as soon as they came into England,” The Art Loss Register chairman Julian Radcliffe said.

The most expensive painting is the Cezanne, which Bakwin later sold for $29 million.

“It’s really too bad that they’ve become so valuable because I think paintings are better in people’s homes. It’s just too much of a responsibility to have something like that sitting on a wall someplace,” Bakwin said.

Bakwin says these last two entitled “Boy” and “A Woman Seated” will stay with him.

“It’s like getting the family back together again nice time around Christmas,” Bakwin said.

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