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Stolen artwork found; 2nd piece still missing

Nov. 8, 2005

by EMILY INGRAM, reporter

Working late in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center on Sunday night, something blue caught Paul McCoy's eye. He discovered one of the two works of art stolen two weeks ago.

"I was here late (Sunday) night, and I went to the front office," said McCoy, professor and ceramist-in-residence. "On my way back, I recognized a painting hanging in the student lounge where all the artwork was taken down."

The painting, an untitled piece by The Woodlands senior Kevin McCauley, reappeared on the wall where it was formerly displayed.

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Courtesy photo
Art professor Paul McCoy found The Woodlands senior Kevin McCauley's stolen painting, above, Sunday night.
Valued at $400, the work disappeared along with a print by Seon Young Lee, a Korea senior, valued at $275. McCoy said whoever stole the painting must have returned it after its likeness appeared in posters around Baylor's campus.

"It dawned on me that whoever stole it saw the posters and brought it back," McCoy said. "So, I took it off the wall and brought it back to my office so that it wouldn't get stolen again. It was nice to see it and get it secured for Kevin."

Although McCauley's painting was returned, Lee's painting remains missing.

"Because there was a picture of mine (in the Lariat), I think whoever stole my piece returned it," McCauley said. "I don't think whoever had it would keep it since so many people had seen it. They would be more afraid to keep it."

Karl Umlauf, artist-in-residence and professor of art, said professors removed all student artwork from the center after the thefts.

"All the artwork in the foyer was taken down and will stay down until we can find a better security method to keep them safe," Umlauf said. "All (of the pieces) are in a storage closet."

Although Lee's artwork remains missing, McCoy said he was delighted to have one piece recovered.

"It was a happy ending," McCoy said.

Assistant city editor Kate McClendon contributed to this story.