Lifestyle & Belief

Stolen Salvador Dali work mailed back to New York gallery from Europe via express post


Spanish artist Salvador Dali writing at his desk in the '50s.

A 1949 painting by Surrealist artist Salvador Dali stolen from a New York gallery has been returned from Europe, by express mail.

"Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio," worth $150,000, was stolen from the Venus Over Manhattan gallery in Madison Avenue last week by a man posing as a customer.

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According to The New York Times, citing the US Postal Inspection Service, the artwork was intercepted at Kennedy International Airport before being sorted for delivery, with a tracking number included. 

The package bore a phony sender name and address, Reuters cited Deputy New York Police Commissioner John McCarthy as saying. 

Inspection service spokeswoman Donna Harris said the gallery received an email this week that said the painting had been sent back.

According to Reuters, the NYPD's top "art cop" Detective Mark K. Fishstein was among those who took possession of the painting at JFK International.

Fishstein, the Brooklyn-born son of two antiques dealers, has been involved in several Manhattan art heists, including in 2008, when he arrested a couple who had stolen a $100,000 Andy Warhol print of Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong from a frame store.

No arrests had been made in the Dali theft, stolen from the Venus Over Manhattan gallery in a shopping bag.

The painting was returned on Friday to the gallery, where it was being authenticated, McCarthy reportedly said.

The 11-by-14-inch drawing watercolor and ink painting was part of the gallery's first exhibition.

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