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Salvador Dalí Piece Worth US$20,000 Gets Swiped From An Exhibition In Seconds
By Thanussha Priyah, 16 Oct 2019
Image by Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964 via Wikimedia Commons
An exhibition by Dennis Rae Fine Art, which featured around 30 works by Salvador Dalí, had turned surreal after a man walked into the gallery and swiped the coveted Burning Giraffe etching.
The rare piece, created by Dalí in 1967 and depicting a frail giraffe in flames with other figures in the background, was stolen within just 30 seconds.
The director of the gallery, Rasjad Hopkins, explained that he was the only staff member present during the time, and that the crime could have taken place when his back was turned.
Hopkins shared with TIME that the thief “was in and out of there in a shot,” and “probably did it in less than a minute.”
Though the gallery’s surveillance camera was not switched on during the incident, the hotel across the street had recorded a man carrying the etching, worth US$20,000, under his arm.
The suspect was dressed in a blue t-shirt and gym shorts. The crime might not have been committed by a single individual, as a woman was also seen roaming around the gallery’s entrance.
It seemed like the thief would have worked on the robbery for some time now, as the lock and cable that secured the etching was nowhere to be found. Hopkins also admitted that the system could have been taken down for a showing the day before, and that employees did not replace it, creating an “opportunity” for the thief.
According to another director of the gallery, Angela Kellet, the piece is recognizable and could easily be spotted by people. She told ABC7 News that it was a “very small edition of etchings” and that it was numbered, making it a “very hot item.”
[via artnet News, images via By Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964]
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