Cotto thief strikes again 

Original drawing stolen from City Gallery

Julio Cotto is a local artist who finds himself on the Blotter page almost as much as the arts section. He's had artwork stolen from four different locations, most recently the City Gallery at Waterfront Park.

The artist contributed a series of paintings to this year's Contemporary Charleston exhibition featuring women in animal headdresses. An accompanying sketch was stolen from the gallery early last week.

He describes it as a black, white, red, and gold portrait on a "regular size" piece of paper. The subject is wearing a koi fish headdress. Cotto does not have a copy of the sketch, only a partial tracing of the headgear.

Cotto says that all remaining sketches will now be displayed under plexiglass, but that doesn't make him feel any less angry about the theft. "It makes me not want my stuff shown publicly, just in my studio or gallery. I put my time into it, and use it to make my living. I guess the gallery was counting on the good nature of people not to steal original artwork."

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