A centuries-old Japanese Buddha statue worth $1.5 million was stolen from a Los Angeles art gallery last week — and the heist was caught on camera.The 250-pound bronze sculpture was jacked from the Barakat Gallery in Beverly Grove around 3:45 a.m. on Sept. 18, LAPD said.“I prize it so much,” Fayez Barakat, the gallery owner, told KTLA. “I had it in the backyard of my home and when I moved into this gallery, I put it in the backyard of the gallery for everybody to admire and enjoy.”Security footage shows the thief pulling up to the gallery in a moving truck, Barakat said. The driver steps out, busts open a driveway gate and enters the gallery, video shows. He then used a dolly to load the statue on the truck before driving off.The entire robbery lasted about 25 minutes, the gallery owner said.The statue dates back to Japan’s Edo Period (1603-1867), Barakat said. It is believed to have been commissioned for the centerpiece of a temple.Barakat said he acquired the one-of-a-kind artifact more than 55 years ago.“We have 200 objects back there, but this is our prize piece,” Paul Henderson, the gallery’s director, said. “I don’t think there’s another like it on the market anywhere. It’s four feet tall, it’s hollow cast bronze and it’s a stunning piece. It’s really aesthetically arresting and it’s shocking to see something like this go missing.”Barakat said he believes the theft was premeditated, as the sculpture features prominently in the gallery’s outdoor space.Hundreds of other valuable pieces were skipped over in favor of the Buddha — the only item that was stolen.It will be difficult for the thief to sell the piece, Henderson said.“Because it’s an ancient artifact, there’s nowhere where you can sell this piece,” he told the outlet. “You can’t go on the market. You can’t take it to a pawn shop and sell it for a few thousand dollars, it’s just not possible. So, it’s very interesting. It’s like a museum heist type thing where, what are you going to do with this object right now? We’re all very curious and really puzzled, to be honest.”Barakat is hoping law enforcement can recover the statue before something happens to it.“I hope that the person who stole it is not stealing it for the weight of bronze because it’s a historical item,” Barakat said. “I’m heartbroken. Whoever stole it, maybe that person understood the value. Probably they commissioned somebody, a thief of some kind, to just go ahead and steal it.”No arrests have been made, according to LAPD. Police said they are canvassing the area for additional security camera footage.
24 Eylül 2023 - 09:05
Ancient Buddha statue worth $1.5 million stolen from Los Angeles art gallery
No arrests have been made, according to LAPD. Police said they are canvassing the area for additional security camera footage.
24 Eylül 2023 - 09:05