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The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA) Newsletter, Issue #26


As reported in last week's MOBA News, MOBA's landmark painting "Eileen" was stolen from the outside of the MOBA World Headquarters building in Boston on March 9 between 12:20pm - 1:30am.

Since then, despite a massive outpouring of support from the Friends Of MOBA, Boston TV stations and newspapers, and the Boston police there is still no word on "Eileen's" whereabouts. Upon hearing of the theft, Mr. Wilson our esteemed curator personally pledged a $6.50 reward for information leading to the return of the priceless painting. Since then Friends Of MOBA worldwide have opened both their hearts and their pocketbooks in a vain attempt to use the lure of cold hard cash to find the painting. As of this evening, thanks to the generosity of the Friends Of MOBA worldwide, the reward for the return of "Eileen" now stands at $33.65.

While the reward money poured into the "Bring Her Home" fund, the Boston media did everything in their power to assist the museum in finding the "passionate portrait of the girl with the green eyes". TV channels 4, 5, and 7 as well as the Boston Globe, Herald and Transcript newspapers published pictures of "Eileen" -- but all to no avail.

As Thursday night approached hope began to rise. As the sun went down on Thursday, trash night, the MOBA staff fanned out throughout the neighborhood in hopes of finding "Eileen" once again in a trash pile. After hours of fruitless searching, the search crew returned to MOBA's offices empty handed and dejected.

On Friday afternoon the mail arrived. In it was a nondescript typed envelope -- with no return address, postmarked in Bedford, MA. When the envelope was opened and the letter was removed the staff members gasped. The entire letter was composed of individual letters cut out of magazines and glued on to the paper. It read:

"What do you call a woman with one leg shorter than the other"
and inside

We will never understand the depths of human depravity that could allow any human being to play such a cruel and heartless joke amidst the pain that the MOBA staff has endured throughout this last week.

Our only consolation is the tremendous outpouring of support from the Friends Of MOBA though it all. Your email, letters, phone calls, telegrams and flowers were the only thing that kept all of us going through these trying times.

Dear MOBA,

I was appalled to learn of the recent theft of "Eileen". My heart goes out to all of you for the suffering this heinous crime has caused. I can only hope that "Eileen will be returned soon and undamaged. Who could do such a thing? If I can offer any assistance to Moba for the safe return of "Eileen" please let me know.

-- Cathie D.

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Dearest Friends at MOBA,

This gray morning in California is only matched by my mood upon hearing of this horrendous crime. I hope that when she is returned to you that you will find forgiveness in your heart. Perhaps her captor was as entranced by her beauty as we all are.

It is our hope that 'Eileen' is returned home where she is loved and cherished. Our thoughts are with you.

-- Canary Studios

PS Don't forget to have the police question that rum looking lot over at the museum of modern art. I don't trust them farther than I can throw them!

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Sorry to interrupt the mourning process but all that is possible is being done from our side down here in South Africa. Through INTERPOL we are scouring the country's galleries for `Eileen'. Our knowledge of the painting is rather scant but we are looking for anything resembling an `Eileen'.

Our best and somewhat dismal lead has come from a policeman in Pofadder who claims to have seen `Eileen'. Our brief elation has been somewhat tempered by the news from a specialist undercover sleuth that that particular `Eileen' is the postmaster's wife.

We shall continue the search!

Good luck,
-- Mark Cresswell

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Bathe "Eilleen" in a golden light, and know that no matter what, she is burned into the brains of who ever had the fate of laying eyes on her... forever.

This is the stuff legends are made of. My thoughts drift toward Eileen, and I think perhaps she is free, free at last.

-- Patricia Deadroff

PS Don't worry, she'll turn up. Have you checked out all the garage bins?

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Dear MOBA associates,

'Eileen' is gone? I share your pain, and I hope that she will come home soon. May justice be served in this crime!

-- Melinda and Misha

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The news of "Eileen" has, of course, put us in mourning. The Virtual Mirror would like to contribute one dollar to the reward fund.

Our prayers are with you,
-- Bob Stewart and GardenWeb

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With the loss of yet another art treasure from a Boston Museum (re: still missing Vermeers from the Gardner) at least one art lover has begun to wonder if Boston is a BAD place for ART.

Sincere sympathies on Eileen's disappearance. As loyal MOBA fans, we will indeed pray for her return.

-- Bev and Russ Kimball

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Dear MOBA,

As a friend of MOBA and all it stands for, I would like to offer a supplement for your already generous reward fund. Should the perpetrator be found and apprehended, I offer to provide them with prescription eyeglasses, something they are in obvious need of.

-- 'Restorman'

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Allow me to convey through you my utter shock and dismay at the brazen theft of last weekend. I was out of town when the event occurred and heard about in only on my return. It is only now that I have been able to stem my tears for long enough to write this note. After reviewing the MOBA CD-ROM on behalf of the BCS I came to regard Eileen, Lucy and the others as -- dare I say it? -- almost personal friends. The sense of loss, therefore, goes beyond the immeasurable loss to the art world overall and struck me at a deeper level.

I hope the perpetrators of this dastardly deed are found and brought to justice. No punishment can be too severe for them. The traditional approaches of fines, imprisonment, the stocks, and physical torture are too lenient. May I suggest that they be forced to listen to the MOBA song for 24 straight hours? Then they might fully understand the enormity of their transgression.

Yours in the cause of art,

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Dear MOBA,

Oh Dear! Eileen is gone. This is tragic


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Dear Staff,

Just as I opened Museum of Bad Art Special edition newsletter (3/10/96) and read about the mysterious and scandalous theft of the famous painting "Eileen" from MOBA World Headquarters in Boston USA it occurred to me that I saw a strange painting at the back room of local light beer pub Huitsin Nevada, leaning wrongly possessed against a heater radiator in the small village of Siikajoki, Finland. This happened only on Monday night the 11th of March at 7.30 PM local time.

It was certainly one of the worst paintings I have ever seen and in fact it crossed my mind that I should send a picture of it to be examined by MOBA staff. Now I am suspecting that it is possible that it is the famous "Eileen".

If it is "Eileen", we may be dealing with an important art-theft Mafia that has its roots all around the globe. This theft has possible connections with the famous Stockholm Modern Art Museum Picasso thefts a couple of years ago and the Munch theft in Oslo National Gallery, too.

Yours sincerely
-- Heikki Kastemaa
Siikajoki, Finland

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Dear MOBA,

It was with great regret that we learned of the theft of "Eileen". This offensive occurrence only strengthens our resolve to challenge the world of art thieves head-on!

Art Vision International is about to initiate an extensive launch, both on-line and off, of our soon-to-be-unveiled Stolen Art Gallery. Thank heavens for good timing, we will now be able to support you in the business of bringing poor, stolen Eileen to the eyes of the world.

If you provide us with a photograph, we will call the world's attention to this misdeed, and hopefully assist you in bringing Eileen home.

If Eileen had not yet been archived by photograph, perhaps Mr. Wilson has committed her to memory, and could render a likeness for this purpose without too much distress.

Please let us know how we can help. In the meantime, chin up.

Best regards,
-- Susan E. Eshelman
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