Page last updated at 22:54 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009

US artist Frazetta's son 'in museum theft'

Alfonso Frank Frazetta
Mr Frazetta said his father had told him to remove the paintings, police say

The son of renowned American fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, has been charged with trying to steal paintings worth $20m (£12m) from his father's museum.

Police in Pennsylvania say Alfonso Frank Frazetta was caught loading 90 paintings into his vehicle and trailer.

They say Mr Frazetta and another man used an excavator to break into the museum in the Pocono Mountains region.

Mr Frazetta Snr, aged 81, is famed for his depiction of characters such as Conan the Barbarian and Tarzan.

The artist was in Florida at the time of the incident, the Associated Press news agency reported.

AP quoted an unnamed police official as saying the younger Mr Frazetta may have been motivated by a family feud.

A police affidavit said Mr Frazetta Jnr, 52, claimed he had been instructed by his father to "enter the museum by any means necessary to move all the paintings to a storage facility", the agency reported.

Mr Frazetta Snr denied granting any such permission, the agency said.

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