The former director of a Long Island museum who stole Egyptian artifacts from the institution's collection -- and later sold the rare antiquities through Christie’s auction house -- was sentenced today to serve time in federal prison.
Barry Stern, who headed Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum, was sentenced to serve one year and a day behind bars and slapped with a $5,000 fine during a hearing in Central Islip's federal court.
To disguise his theft from the museum, which is located on the university's C.W. Post campus in Brookville, L.I.., Stern deleted files concerning the nine objects from the museum's computer database.
He then delivered them to Christie's in August 2008 to be sold on consignment. Catalogs from the auction house described the precious objects as coming "from the Collection of Barry Stern."
Among the antiquities that Stern furnished to Christie's was a bronze statuette depicting Apis, a bull that in ancient Egypt was kept in lavish accommodations, watched constantly for signs of divine messages, and consulted in efforts to foretell the future.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Long Island Museum director sentenced for theft
New York Post (Mitchell Maddux)