By Matt Kroschel

ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4) – The mystery behind a $3 million painting, slashed by a man in disguise with a knife, appears to be solved.

Nearly one year ago, the painting was vandalized at Aspen’s Opera Gallery.

(credit: Aspen Times)

According to court documents, the painting was vandalized by the son of the man who owns the work of art, identified as Nicholas Morley. He faces felony criminal mischief in connection with the bizarre incident.

(credit: Aspen Times)

Morley, 40, of England, is the son of the man listed as the owner of the rare painting. The motive remains unclear.

Surveillance video shows the suspect taking a knife to the painting.

(credit: CBS)

“I prefer not to think about it because it’s quite disturbing for me,” said the gallery owner in May of last year.

Aspen police say they found evidence showing that Morley flew from London to Denver May 1, 2017, the day before the slashing. Investigators say he rented a car at Denver International Airport, then flew back to London two days after the painting was damaged.

Morley’s whereabouts are unknown. The search for him continues.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.


Leave a Reply