Officer stumbles upon valuable works by American Indian artist Alfred Momaday in old meth lab

Associated Press

An officer searching a former meth lab in New Mexico has stumbled upon possibly stolen artwork by late-American Indian artist Al Momaday.

Police say the officer found the valuable prints last week during a sweep of the condemned Albuquerque building. Authorities say the property was deemed uninhabitable for two years following the discovery of a methamphetamine lab.

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According to a police, the officer spotted an art portfolio case of prints by Momaday on the floor as city officials prepared to board up the building. The report says the officer googled Momaday's name and discovered he was a Mountain View, Oklahoma-born Kiowa artist who died in 1981.

An Albuquerque Museum curator later valued the artwork at $33,000.

Investigators believe the art was on loan and may have been stolen.

No arrests have been made.