Authorities in New York say a $150,000 Salvador Dali painting that was stolen from a New York City gallery last week has been mailed back in perfect condition.
The painting, a 1949 piece titled “Cartel de Don Juan Tenirio,” was lifted June 20th, when a brazen thief snatched the work of art right off a wall of the Venus Over Manhattan art gallery, dropped it into a shopping bag and calmly strolled unnoticed out the building’s front door.
Though the thief’s image was captured by surveillance cameras as he exited the gallery, police had no leads on his whereabouts as of Friday (June 29), NBC reports.
Inspection service spokeswoman Donna Harris told The New York Post the gallery received an email earlier this week that said the painting had been sent back. A tracking number was included.
“Cartel on its way back to you already,” the email read.
On Friday, the NYPD said that the painting was found in a box at Kennedy Airport, addressed to the gallery and bore a phony return address from Europe.
The Venus Over Manhattan art gallery then confirmed the authenticity of the Dali painting, adding that it was returned in remarkable condition.
While it remains unknown why the art thief sent the $150,000 Salvador Dali painting back to the gallery, experts speculate that the publicity surrounding the theft had complicated efforts to sell the piece on the black market.
Video footage showing images of the art thief can be viewed below. Individuals with information on the man’s identity are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.
View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.