Search ongoing for paintings missing from Great Falls Discovery Center

  • The Great Falls Discovery Center on Avenue A in Turners Falls. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 10/26/2022 11:48:46 AM

TURNERS FALLS — A search is ongoing for two missing works of Indigenous Guatemalan art, which were reportedly stolen from the Great Falls Discovery Center earlier this month.

Department of Conservation and Recreation staff who run the Discovery Center noticed two small paintings were missing from the Great Hall on Oct. 6, according to Carolyn Assa, DCR’s director of communications. Staff notified the Montague Police Department shortly after 10 a.m. the next day, according to police logs.

“Basically, they were just saying two paintings worth approximately $150 in value were taken,” Police Chief Christopher Williams said, adding that “the person most likely exited from the back door” after removing the paintings from the Great Hall.

Williams noted the Montague Police Department “very rarely” receives reports of stolen art. He also said the Discovery Center doesn’t have security cameras, so police lack surveillance footage to analyze as evidence.

The missing paintings were intended for an exhibit of Indigenous Guatemalan art curated for the annual Migrations Festival, according to Assa. The Migrations Festival, which took place on Oct. 8, exhibited artwork courtesy of the GuateMaya Art and Culture Connection nonprofit. It serves as “a celebration of human and natural diversity,” as described by RiverCulture, Montague’s arts and business organization. Roughly 15 Mayan artists had paintings on display and for sale as part of the event. Proceeds from art sold at the festival directly benefited the artists.

“These people are now able to change their quality of life because they’re selling art in the United States,” RiverCulture Director Suzanne LoManto previously said of the artists.

Those with information about the missing paintings are encouraged to contact the Montague Police Department at 413-863-8911.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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