Up to 50 percent of the artworks at the World Wars II American cemetery in California’s San Bernardino Mountains were stolen during the occupation, a new investigation found.
The thieves are responsible for painting a large number of the large murals on the walls of the American cemetery, including an American flag and the Confederate battle flag, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
One of the murals depicts an American soldier with a crossbow, which is also painted over.
The mural also shows a Confederate battle emblem.
“It is a very disturbing situation that this has occurred,” said Susan Jaffe, a Los Angeles attorney who is representing a group of residents who are suing the property owners and the Los Angles Police Department.
“We’ve seen so many instances in which the owners and their staff have been able to get away with theft.
“I don’t want to call it a crime, but this is not right.” “
This is a tragedy,” Jaffe said.
“I don’t want to call it a crime, but this is not right.”
Police said the theft occurred between January 2016 and March 2017, but that the investigation is still ongoing.
Authorities also are investigating whether other artworks were stolen from the American Cemetery, the newspaper reported.
“As we’ve been working to find the perpetrators, we have been unable to locate any additional evidence that they are responsible,” Sgt. Steve Hirsch of the Los Angels Police Department told the newspaper.
“Based on our investigation, we believe that this incident was committed by a person with an interest in art and theft of works of art.”