A thief who brazenly walked out of a Manhattan art gallery with a Salvador Dali painting worth $150,000 has mailed the stolen artwork back to the gallery.
On June 19 an original, 1949, watercolor-and-ink painting by Salvador Dali entitled “Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio” was stolen from the Venus Over Manhattan art gallery during its debut exhibition.
The New York Daily News reported the art thief, posing as a customer, snatched the painting from the gallery wall and shoved it into a large black shopping bag whilst a guard was on duty. Video footage revealed a balding man in a checked shirt scurrying away with the prize.
As police hunted for the criminal RT reported art-security consultant Robert Wittman said investigators would not be surprised if the painting was returned, saying "Generally speaking, art thieves are fairly good criminals, but they're terrible businessmen."
Wittman has now been proven correct as the Dali painting has been returned. The New York Post reported the painting was mailed back to New York from Europe. Investigators recovered the package from JFK. A source revealed "It seems to be in exceptional condition. It was addressed to the gallery and it had a return address, but it appears to be bogus and the name is illegible."