In keeping with the stereotype that only the absolute classiest people in the world take cruises, a couple on a Carnival Cruise Line from Baltimore to Bermuda has been accused of stealing nearly $13,000 in sculptures.
Carnival’s ships feature “an ever-changing collection of fine art”, their website says. The company even conducts art auctions, with ABC News pointing out that the company’s marketing materials invite customers to “[s]ip some champagne, browse the gallery and bid on a piece to take home as a trip memento.”
But now the FBI says two pieces worth $13,000 were taken by one couple…without them bidding on it.
According to ABC, in legal papers submitted this past Tuesday to a federal court in Baltimore, the FBI reveals that an art auctioneer aboard a ship stumbled upon the disappearance of two art pieces on Oct. 1, a day following the vessel’s return to Baltimore after a week’s voyage.
The absent artwork includes a Lucite sculpture valued at $6,200, crafted by the American artist Robert Wyland and titled “Kiss the Sea,” which showcases two sea turtles and is comparable in size to a small rucksack.
The second piece, a marginally smaller work by American artist Marcus Glenn called “Tappin’ the Keys for the Love,” presents a man at a piano with a heart backdrop and has an estimated worth of $6,600, as stated by the FBI.
Subsequent analysis of the ship’s security camera recordings by Carnival’s security team revealed footage of two individuals. Captured slightly after 2 a.m. a couple of days prior, these two are seen entering the art gallery with nothing in hand and departing shortly thereafter, clutching items resembling the absent artworks, the article says.
Following a deeper probe, court records indicate that the suspects are a trucking firm worker and his female partner. A Facebook scan by an FBI agent revealed a photo of the male suspect wearing attire matching that in the security footage. Upon receiving judicial consent, the FBI conducted searches at the suspects’ residences, leading to the recovery of the stolen artworks, as confirmed by a U.S. Attorney’s Office representative in Baltimore.
While their names haven’t yet been released, the FBI is considering pressing federal charges pertaining to theft and transporting stolen items. The cruise line even jokes about the quality of its auctions on its website, writing they are far from the “room of too-serious old men, many wearing monocles, paying top-dollar for priceless antique works of art.”
We can already see the couple’s defense now: “So, what’d ya expect us to do?”