The Associated Press
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- An 18th century portrait has been taken off the market while more research is conducted to determine whether it was stolen.
The oil portrait was part of the estate of the late Robert Kittleson of Williamsburg.
Phoebus Auction Gallery had planned to sell the portrait during a weekend estate sale. But The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/HY8DX5 ) reports that the portrait was removed 15 minutes before the sale began.
Phoebus Auction Gallery owner Gail Wolpin tells the newspaper that the auction house legally is within its rights to sell the portrait. But she says research will continue.
A notation on the portrait's back says it was the property of Sir Benjamin Slade, who lives in England. Slade told the auction house that he thought the portrait may have been stolen from the family.
Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com
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