Accused thief asks to sell treasures

Sept. 27, 2011 at 1:30 PM
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BALTIMORE, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- A New York collector charged with stealing historical documents from libraries in Baltimore has asked a judge to allow him to sell some of his valuables.

In court documents, Barry Landau's lawyers say he needs money to pay the $2,700-a-month rent on his Manhattan apartment and for other living expenses, The Baltimore Sun reported. They filed a motion Friday listing items he plans to sell, including an Andy Warhol lithograph of Elizabeth Taylor signed by the artist and the actress.

"The defendant seeks to liquidate these items because he is now without funds necessary to pay his everyday expenses," the lawyers said.

The Warhol lithograph could bring in as much as $60,000, the lawyers said.

Landau and Jason Savedoff, described as his former live-in partner, were arrested in July and charged with stealing documents from the Maryland Historical Society, including a land grant signed by Abraham Lincoln. Federal prosecutors charge that Landau stole other documents from libraries in several U.S. cities and Britain bearing the signatures of notable people ranging from Sir Isaac Newton to President Franklin Roosevelt.

A collector of presidential memorabilia, Landau is the author of "The President's Table: 200 Years of Dining and Diplomacy."

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