BOGOTA -- Two oil paintings stolen from the Posada de las Artes Kingman Museum on the outskirts of Quito in August 2003 were recovered by Colombian police in a pool hall in downtown Bogota, police said Sunday.
The two works are part of the collection of deceased painter Eduardo Kingman, known as "the painter of hands," spokesmen for the Dijin police agency said.
The paintings in question are the oils on canvas "La mano de Dios" (The hand of God) and "San Pedro y San Pablo" (St. Peter and St. Paul), measuring 80 by 94 centimeters (31.5 inches by 37 inches) and 95 by 83 centimeters (37.4 inches by 32.7 inches), respectively, and they are considered to be part of the cultural heritage of Ecuador.
The works, which were stolen on Aug. 27, 2003, were recovered after tracking and an investigation by units of Dijin's Investigative Group of Crimes against Cultural Patrimony.
The sources said that a man identified only by the alias "Ivan," approximately 65 years old, "offered via photographs the two works of art by the master Kingman to the highest bidder."
They added that "the paintings were exhibited in the interior of a ... billiards club located in downtown Bogota."
In coordination with the Attorney General's Office, the police spokesmen also said that "an inspection was made of the site with the authorized consent of the proprietor."
In the raid, police "detected in the cafe area ... a black plastic bag one meter (39 inches) long by seven centimeters (2.8 inches) in diameter and inside were found the works of art."
There were no reports of any arrests.
Kingman, the sources said, was born in Loja in 1913 and died in Quito in 1998. He began his artistic career as an expressionist painter specializing in political-social works, studying in Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and the United States.