Stolen Tiffany Chandelier from The Belasco Theatre in NYC Resurfaces

New York Post

December 23rd, 2016

The Belasco Theatre New York City

The Belasco Theatre New York City

The Stolen Chandelier

Close-Up or another Tiffany Chandelier Hanging in The Belasco Theatre, NYC

Balcony Interior Shot of The Belasco Theatre

Balcony Interior Shot of The Belasco Theatre, NYC

Interior Shot of The Bealsco Theatre, NYC

Interior Shot of The Belasco Theatre, NYC

There’s a new twist in the Broadway saga over a custom Tiffany Studios light fixture stolen from a 44th Street theater in the 1970s — the current owner is refusing to hand over the lantern, court papers show.

Anne Partridge, who runs the theater-furnishings company Acme Stage and Sports in Long Island, argues in court filings that she “lawfully purchased” the stained glass-and-brass lamp from an auction house “in or around the late 1970s.”

She was sued in Manhattan Supreme Court last month by the Shubert Organization, which says the amber-colored lamp was one of five swiped from the ceiling of the Belasco Theatre during a February 1976 break-in.

The organization, which owns the Belasco, had learned of its existence after Partridge tried to sell it on consignment at a Midtown antiques store.

Partridge, of upstate Spring Valley, claims in a new court filing that the auction house “had lawful title to the fixture” at the time she bought it.

Shubert reps call the fixture an “irreplaceable piece of Broadway history.” The four other lanterns are still missing.

Its lawsuit notes that Partridge yanked the lantern from the Lillian Nassau antiques gallery on East 57th Street as soon as the Shubert Organization learned it had surfaced.

The owner of the gallery, Arlie Sulka, had alerted the organization about the lamp and allowed reps and an expert to examine it.

Partridge says in the new filing that the organization can’t prove that the fixture she now owns is the same one that went missing 40 years ago. She has turned down a settlement offer. The Shubert

Organization has had an expert compare Partridge’s lamp with photos of the stolen fixtures. The expert says in a sworn statement that they are a perfect match.

“The color scheme and the qualities of the glass are identical in every detail to the glass in the original fixtures of the identical style at the Belasco,” the suit says.

Partrige is asking a judge to declare her the rightful owner of the fixture. She has refused to answer questions about the case, citing ongoing litigation.

Her Pearl River-based company, which also supplies gym and auditorium furnishings, counts major institutions such as Vassar College and the Culinary Institute of America as clients.

A lawyer for the Shubert Organization declined to comment.