This is the story of what happened when one of my commissioned portraits was reported "destroyed" by Mexican customs.
A Mexican architect (Jorge) has commissioned me to paint a portrait of his radiant wife Paulina to offer her as a surprise gift for Christmas.
The shipping, which usually takes a few days, was not completed after weeks. When inquiring, Jorge got the information that the carrier had destroyed it(!)
To my great relief, this turned out to be untrue. But the reality wasn't much better.
The painting had been seized by the Mexican customs.
They were sure the work had much greater value than indicated and that it was being used in a money laundering scheme.
After holding on to it for quite some time — they probably kept it in a room with seized drugs — it was finally released...after payment of the astronomical amount of $700USD (which I think can be called a bribe).
Fortunately, the story ended well: the portrait arrived just in time for Christmas.
Paulina adores it and Jorge told me it was totally worth it.