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Replacing stolen painting could cost $3K

Brittany Schock / Asst. photo editor

An oil portrait of Charles E. MacQuigg, former dean of the College of Engineering, was stolen from MacQuigg Laboratory sometime between 2 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Kenneth Kushner, laboratory and facilities manager for materials sciences engineering, told The Lantern he estimated it will cost $3,000 to replace, though the painting itself had no value. Another portrait that was recently done for the department was smaller in size and cost about $1,000, he said.

There are 14 entrances to MacQuigg, and Kushner said it is possible that one of them was left unsecured.

“Sometimes grad students will prop the door open in order to keep access to the building,” Kushner said. “So it’s hard to make sure all 14 entrances are locked and secured.”

Kushner said it has not yet been determined if the university will replace the painting.

“It’s still too early to even discuss what we would or wouldn’t do,” Kushner said.

The painting, measuring 32 inches by 40 inches, was completed by James Ray Hopkins, Kushner said.

“(Hopkins) also has a building named after him on campus. He was an electrical engineer, who was also an artist and he did serve as chair of the art department,” Kushner said.

Kushner said the oil-on-canvas painting has sentimental value to the university, and the department would like to see it returned.

“If this is a prank or say, just a student theft, or if it’s hanging in someone’s living room, we just want it returned safely,” Kushner said.

According to the Ohio State Police report, the frame screws had been removed and the oil painting had “been pried out of the frame, causing damage to the frame.”

MacQuigg is painted wearing a dark blue suit jacket, a white shirt and a gold and red tie in the portrait, Kushner said.

“He is depicted from the chest to the top of his head,” Kushner said. “In the photo, his arms are folded across his chest and he is holding a small red book in his hands, speculated to be a Bible.”

Kushner said he does not believe anyone would have a motive to steal such a portrait, other than for a prank or some type of joke.

“James Hopkins has allegedly done many portraits of faculty members and they are all over campus,” he said.

University police should be contacted immediately with any information regarding the missing portrait at (614) 292-2121.

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