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Dali's Don Juan stolen but expected to return

Published time: June 24, 2012 12:46
Edited time: June 24, 2012 16:46
"Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio" by Salvador Dali

"Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio" by Salvador Dali

Stealing a Salvador Dali masterpiece from a New York gallery has proved to be no big deal for a thief posing as a customer. The police are still searching for the man who managed to walk out from the art venue with a watercolor worth $150,000.

­The man asked a security guard if he could take a photo of the 1949 painting, entitled “Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio”.  As soon as the guard stepped away, the burglar got access to the painting and removed it, the New York Daily News reported. The Madison Avenue gallery's security measures are unclear.

The thief allegedly put Dali's ‘tour de force’, which was part of the Venus Over Manhattan art gallery's debut exhibition, in a large black shopping bag, showing the Madison Avenue’s security system leaves much to be desired.  

Although the criminal is still at large, investigators and art buffs are hoping that “Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio” is not gone forever.

“Generally speaking, art thieves are fairly good criminals, but they're terrible businessmen,'' Robert Wittman, an art-security consultant and former investigator for the FBI's national art crime team told AP.  

“And the true art is not the stealing, it's the selling,” he added.