In the case of stolen paintings, the common myth is that they end up in the castle of some reclusive European aristocrat, locked in a vault in Japan, or in the remote villa of a Columbian drug dealer, however few people would consider the frozen expanse of Glennallen, Alaska, population 483. The Courthouse News Service in Anchorage, Alaska has reported that during a sting operation targeting the illicit sale of walrus tusks and polar bear pelts, agents stumbled upon a cache of stolen 19th century artworks including
a chalk study, three watercolors and an oil painting: “Study of Alexa Wilding,” by Rossetti; “Milton” by Pissarro; “Nests at Kilmurry,” by Mildred Anne Butler; “Castle and Figures in a Farmland,” by William Payne; and “Landscape and Cattle on the Thames,” by Henry Garland.
These works were found among two polar bear skins, 230lbs of walrus tusks and an arsenal of weapons. The works were believed to have been stolen from the Nicolette Wernick collection in 2005. Wernick was an avid collector of British paintings and watercolours and her collection eventually went on sale at Christie’s in London and realized 648,581 GBP.