Stolen Art by American Indian Artist found at Ex-Meth Lab

Feb 6, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An officer searching a former methamphetamine lab in New Mexico has stumbled upon stolen artwork by late-American Indian artist Al Momaday.

Albuquerque police said the officer found the valuable prints last week during a sweep of the condemned property. Authorities say the property had been deemed uninhabitable for two years following the discovery of a meth lab.

According to a police, the officer spotted an art portfolio case of prints by Momaday on the floor as city officials prepared to board up the building. The report says the officer googled Momaday's name and discovered he was a Mountain View, Oklahoma-born Kiowa artist who died in 1981.

An Albuquerque Museum curator later valued the artwork at $33,000.

Investigators believe the art was on loan and may have been stolen.

No arrests have been made.