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Stockbroker Charged in 1985 Art Theft From UCLA

An early 19th-Century portrait of George Washington stolen from UCLA in 1985 was found hanging in a San Marino living room, and a West Los Angeles stockbroker has been charged in connection with the theft, police said Wednesday.

Christopher Brown, 29, was arrested Monday on charges of receiving or concealing stolen property, according to Detective William Martin of the LAPD Art Theft Squad. Brown, who was released on $5,000 bail and is scheduled for arraignment Sept. 30, is the son of John C. and Elizabeth R. Brown of San Marino, in whose home the painting was found.

Police consider the painting to be a rare work, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, by American artist Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828). But UCLA only “attributes” it to Gilbert, and officials plan to examine the painting to determine if it is genuine. The artist, whose most famous Washington portrait is the basis for the image on the $1 bill, is considered one of the most important early American painters.


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