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NYPD probing $1M Rockwell painting missing from storage unit

Norman Rockwell Stole_Mill.jpg

This undated photo provided by Sotheby's in New York shows a Norman Rockwell painting, "Sport," that was discovered missing from a Queens storage facility, according to the New York Police Department. The oil painting was sold from a private collector in Birmingham, Ala., at a Sotheby's auction in New York on May 22. Police didn't identify the owner. (AP Photo/Sotheby's)

A Norman Rockwell painting valued at more than $1 million was stolen from a storage unit in New York, NYPD officials said.

The 1939 painting, “Sport,” depicts a man in a rowboat wearing a yellow raincoat while smoking an inverted pipe to avoid the elements. It was discovered missing last month from Welpak Art Moving and Storage in Ridgewood, Queens, police said Tuesday.

It wasn’t immediately clear who owned the painting, which appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post — whose logo is part of the image — on April 29, 1939, the New York Post reports.

In May, the oil painting, which is 22 by 28 inches and framed in gilded wood, was sold by a private collection in Birmingham, Ala., for $1,085,000 at Sotheby’s.

The Welpak location offers shipping and storage for museums and private collectors and utilizes a state-of-the-art security system, according to the company’s website.

Rockwell, then 22, painted his first cover for The Saturday Evening Post in 1916. He considered the magazine to be the "greatest show window in America" and went on to produce another 321 covers over the next 47 years, according to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.

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