John A. Woodside is believed to be the artist who painted the famous Water Works picture, long before the Philadelphia Museum of Art stood behind it in the Fairmount section of the city.
Until Monday morning, the painting hung on the wall of the city's Park Services office at 16th and Arch streets.
But an employee noticed it was missing from its 10th Floor location at the beginning of the week, NBC 10's Mike Strug reported.
Janic Fedarcyk, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia FBI Office, said the federal agency is investigating the case and trying to located the painting, which is worth more than $70,000.
She said the FBI doesn't want the stolen painting to slip below the radar, so they are offering a $10,000 reward. The local office has a history of recovering stolen art; they have found $215 million worth in recent years.
Investigators did not say if surveillance cameras captured the robbery on tape.
FBI Icon Bob Wittman Strikes Again as Florida Frenchie, Berny Ternus charged in '07 theft of art
Associated Press - June 27, 2008 10:34 AM ET
MIAMI (AP) - A French man is facing a U.S. indictment in Miami for involvement in the 2007 theft of 4 paintings from a museum in the French Riviera.
Federal prosecutors said Friday that 55-year-old Bernard Ternus is charged with conspiring to transport the stolen paintings. The paintings were stolen by masked gunman in August 2007 from a museum in Nice, France. They were works by Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
The paintings were recovered earlier this month in France and others involved in the theft arrested.
Ternus was already in U.S. custody on a visa fraud charge. His attorney in that case did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
French man faces US charge in theft of paintings
By CURT ANDERSON – 13 minutes ago
MIAMI (AP) — A French man allegedly involved in the theft of paintings by Claude Monet and two other artists has been charged in the U.S. with attempting to broker the sale of the stolen art to undercover FBI agents, federal prosecutors said Friday.
Bernard Jean Ternus, 55, was indicted by a grand jury on a single count of conspiring to sell the paintings stolen in August 2007 by masked gunmen from the Musee des Beaux-Arts in Nice, France, federal prosecutors said.
The paintings are Monet's "Cliffs Near Dieppe;" "The Lane of Poplars at Moret" by Alfred Sisley; and two works by Jan Brueghel the Elder: "Allegory of Earth" and "Allegory of Water."
All four were recovered in Marseilles, France, on June 4 after a deal was struck to sell them to the FBI undercover agents for 3 million euros, or about $4.7 million at current exchange rates. French national police arrested at least two other men when the art was found.
Ternus is a French citizen who lives in Cooper City, a suburb north of Miami, and several of the alleged meetings with the FBI agents took place in Miami, according to the indictment. Ternus was already in U.S. custody on a visa fraud charge. His lawyer in that case didn't immediately respond Friday to an e-mail seeking comment.
According to the indictment, Ternus first met with the FBI agents in October to begin negotiations for the sale of the paintings. Those talks continued for several months in Miami and other locations, including Barcelona, Spain.
The visa fraud charge involves Ternus' alleged failure to admit on a visa application that he had been arrested in the past. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents later determined that Ternus has been arrested at least seven times in France, accused of crimes ranging from breaking and entering to robbery to assault with a deadly weapon, according to court documents.
Art Hostage comments:
This Bernard Ternus guy was waiting on the cellphone in Florida pokey as FBI Icon Robert Wittman and French police swooped on the car that contained the stolen art in the South of France.
A slight whiff of a deal perhaps, ??????????????
The Informant is about to be outed, no not by Richard Armitage, someone else will get the Plame !!!!!!
More to come..............................................................