The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Pasadena’s Pacific Asia Museum, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana and the Mingei International Museum in San Diego were served with search warrants this morning, the result of a five year undercover investigation on the purchase of looted goods.
The warrants are based on an undercover investigation by an unnamed agent with the National Park Service, who presented himself as an eager new collector to Olson and Markell. Both men allegedly admitted their illegal activities to the agent and sold him recently looted objects.
The warrants claim the men also introduced the agent to museum officials who, in dozens of secretly tape-recorded meetings, accepted donations of looted art with values inflated to help the sellers obtain tax write-offs.
In the case of the Bowers and the Pacific Asia museums, the warrants clearly suggest that museum officials were aware that the objects were looted and overvalued and accepted them anyway.
Toldya they were in on it. And now, enjoy the sight of federal agents raiding those looters at the Pacific Asia Museum: