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FBI Recovers Rodin Sculpture Stolen in Philadelphia

October 19, 1985

MIAMI (AP) _ A $100,000 Rodin sculpture stolen last year from the University of Pennsylvania has been recovered, and three men were charged in the case, the FBI said Friday.

One of the men, Mark DeCoatsworth, 27, of Philadelphia, is a former maintenance worker at the university, said Joseph V. Corless, special agent in charge of the Miami office.

Also arrested were Robert Balkunas, 25, of Philadelphia, and Robert Petrie, 43, a part-time bartender from Surfside, who allegedly hid the bronze ″Jean d’Aire″ in a motel closet, according to the FBI.

The three were charged with 17 federal counts of conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen property.

At a magistrate’s hearing Friday, Balkunas and Petrie put up collateral for $100,000 bond each and were released. DeCoatsworth was unable to make a $50,000 bond and a new hearing was set for Oct. 25. The sculpture, taken from the university between April 23 and May 2, 1984, was not damaged and will be returned to the college ″in the near future,″ the FBI said.

DeCoatsworth and Balkunas were arrested Thursday outside a hotel in Bal Harbor as they were selling the sculpture to undercover FBI agents posing as wealthy business people, the agency said.

The ″Jean d’Aire″ is 42 inches tall, weighs 75 pounds, and is valued at $100,000, according to the FBI. D’Aire was a member of the Burghers of Calais, who in 1347 offered themselves as hostages to King Edward III of England after the city had been under siege for nearly a year.

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