Lifestyle, People

Man Travels from England to Colorado to Slash His Father’s $3-Million Painting

On May 2, a 40-year-old man traveled all the way from England to an art gallery in Aspen, Colorado where he slashed a $3-million dollar painting by New York artist Christopher Wool; then, he left.

It turns out the painting was owned by his father.

The man entered the Opera Gallery in Aspen and walked directly to a painting called “Untitled 2004”. Then he took a sharp object out of his pocket and slashed the painting twice before running out of the gallery.

Image: Oddity Central

The investigation went for over a year and it was revealed that the suspect was Nicholas Morley, son of the painting’s owner, Harold Morley.

He is the person charged with directly damaging this painting,” Don Nottingham, Aspen prosecutor said in an interview after the results of the investigation were presented to the public.

A warrant for Morley’s arrest was already issued by a district court judge.

The owner of the painting told the police that he and his son co-owned the damaged painting; but then he changed his statement. Now he’s saying that Nicholas “just signed for the consignment; he added that neither he nor his son recognized the suspect captured by the security cameras in the gallery.

On May 5, 2017, Harold Morley sent a letter to the Opera Gallery in Aspen saying that the damaged painting can be easily restored and that he didn’t plan to file an insurance claim. He also instructed them to put out a statement that the slashing was “only a minor incident”.

A day later, the painting’s owner sent a text message to the owner of the gallery asking him to “defuse any idea that the painting is destroyed or even devalued.” He also wanted to block or remove an online video of the slashing, restore the artwork, and then sell it for even more money.

Image: Oddity Central

“We could even put it up for sale now for $3.5m on the basis it is ‘famous’ since we are not making an insurance claim there is no reason why the recollection of the incident should not be eliminated as quickly as possible from staff and public. Then it just becomes ‘folklore,'” Harold wrote, according to the affidavit.

Nicholas Morley also wrote to the gallery as well on May 10. He said that Fallowfield did not plan on holding Opera Gallery liable for the incident.

What’s even more intriguing is that Morley’s reaction is not the usual attitude of owners whose prized possession had been damaged. What’s even weirder was that police discovered that Nicholas Morley flew from London’s Heathrow Airport to Minneapolis – St. Paul on May 1, a day before the slashing incident, under the name “Nicola Marley”.

Denver airport police discovered that Nicholas rented a blue 2017 Hyundai Velostar upon his arrival and he used the name Nikola Marley; he returned the car on May 4.

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