Not Your Ordinary Painting
He felt his stomach turn as he anxiously awaited to hear what the appraiser had to say. He knew that this painting was something extraordinary, but never could he have estimated its actual value in a million years.
The appraiser looked stunned, and what he said next changed everything.
Eric Douglas always thought of himself as a kind and considerate person. He frequently volunteered at soup kitchens and always donated to various charities.
Not only did he help those in need, but he was always there for his family as well.
Eric was close to his family members but especially to his aunt and uncle, Louis and Lou, who were fortunate enough to live in a fantastic house in a fantastic neighborhood. However, they were elderly and could not always do everything they wanted.
Eric often helped them by running errands and doing odd work around their home.
Eric helped the pair for more than two years until Louis unfortunately passed. His wife’s passing hit Eric’s uncle incredibly hard, and Eric had to be around more to help support him through the difficult time.
Eric made him home-cooked meals every night and cleaned up around the house. He essentially acted as Uncle Louis’s caretaker, and he did not mind one bit. Little did he know, something big was about to happen to him.
Eric helped Uncle Louis for a year until he announced something surprising. He shared that he would like to move to his late wife’s dream island.
It came as a shock to Eric, but he could not help but understand. However, what his uncle shared next changed everything for Eric.
Eric found out that his uncle would leave the house and its contents for him. Eric felt overcome by emotions and tearfully accepted his uncle’s gesture.
This would be the first time Eric owned a house. He was struggling financially and could only ever afford to rent apartments. It was an exciting time for him, but he would never expect what he would find in the house.
It Caught His Eye
Eric’s relatives loved collecting antiques. They possessed numerous artifacts throughout the property, ranging from wall clocks to closets. However, one-piece, in particular, drew Eric’s attention right away.
In the bedroom, it was a painting. It piqued his interest. He had a feeling it wasn’t like anything else in the house. On the other hand, Eric had no idea that it would draw the attention of others as well.
Dreaming About It
When Eric woke up, the first thing he saw was the painting.
He even had dreams about the painting! He knew there was something different about the picture, but what was it?
Eric scoured the internet, but all he could find was an article about missing paintings that were stolen years ago. He knew that his family would never do something like that, so he ignored it. He wished he could find out more about the painting, but the internet had nothing. So he decided to contact a professional.
Little did Eric know that this would cause some scary people to knock on his door.
Asking For Help
Eric was good friends with an appraiser and asked him for help. His friend would give him answers because all he knew was that this was an impressionist painting.
His friend came over early the following day, and Eric couldn’t help but smile. However, if Eric knew what his friend would share with him that day, he would’ve burned the painting.
He felt a knot in his stomach as the appraiser stammered for words. It was clear that this was no ordinary painting. But he could never have imagined it being worth more than a few hundred dollars.
But when the appraiser finally regained his composure, he couldn’t believe the words that came out of his mouth.
A Willem De Kooning
The appraiser looked Eric in the eye before telling him that the artwork they stood in front of was a Willem De Kooning.
De Kooning was a brilliant impressionist painter whose talent was discovered after he moved to the United States during the ’60s.
Eric’s excitement was short-lived, however, as soon the appraiser’s facial expression turned to a grim one. There was clearly something very wrong, but what was it?
Soon the appraiser would explain, and Eric would soon wish he had never discovered the painting.
It turned out that the painting was, in fact, stolen many years ago from an art museum by an unknown couple. The couple couldn’t have been his aunt and uncle. Could they have been?
Eric had no idea that the artwork was stolen property, nor did he know how his relatives actually got it.
Soon there would be a knock on his door, and when he opened it, he saw two men wearing suits. They informed them that they were from the FBI and investigating the stolen painting in question.
Eric would have to let them seize the painting, but thankfully no charges were pressed against him. He still had their house to enjoy and didn’t mind the art being taken. He just wondered how it came into his uncle’s possession.