Tribeca super allegedly steals artist’s paintings

August 23, 2011 11:19AM

427 Washington Street and artwork by Shirley West

A superintendent in Tribeca stole an artist’s 497 paintings instead of
protecting them as he had been hired to do, the New York Post
reported. The niece of late abstract painter and sculptor Shirley West
had asked the super at 427 Washington Street to keep an eye on the
artwork produced by her aunt, but when she visited the studio this past
October, the paintings were gone.

When she asked the super, 61-year-old Mihaly
Kovacsevics, where they were, he allegedly told her he had moved them to a locked
storage room. Later, she called him because a professor at New York
University wanted to look at the works to write a book about her aunt.
But he didn’t return her call, since he reportedly taken a flight to Germany a
week earlier. Kovacsevics, a Hungarian national who served seven years in a Florida Jail for grand larceny in the 1990s,
returned to the country earlier this year, and then was caught this past Friday
as he tried to board another plane to Germany.

According to the Post, he was also was hired by a Lower East Side woman to resell
$126,400 of her jewelry and Rolex watches in exchange for a
commission, officials said, but instead kept the jewelry for himself
and did not return the woman’s calls. He has been charged with grand
larceny for both robberies, and is being held on $500,000 bail. [Post]