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NYPD: Man Swipes Dali Painting from Art Gallery

Friday, June 22, 2012

Police are looking for a man who stole a $150,000 Salvador Dali painting from a New York art gallery.

Police say the man walked into the Venus Over Manhattan art gallery on Madison Avenue in Manhattan posing as a customer. They say he removed the watercolor and ink painting from the wall, put it in a bag and fled.

Police say the man was wearing a black-and-white checked shirt and dark jeans. It happened Tuesday.

The 1949 painting is "Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio." It was part of the gallery's inaugural exhibition.

The vast majority of high-end paintings such as this one are eventually recovered because they are such rare works of art and easily tracked, said Robert Wittman, an art-security consultant and former investigator for the FBI's national art crime team.

"Generally speaking, art thieves are fairly good criminals, but they're terrible businessmen," he said. "And the true art is not the stealing, it's the selling."

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