Halifax Regional Police are after an art thief who stole a $ 12,500 painting from a downtown gallery this fall.
The police said on Monday, a man entered an art gallery on Doyle Street on September 28 and stole the small painting that was in a gold-plated frame.
The 20 by 25 centimeter oil painting was created by Marc Aurele de Foy Suzor-CotÃ© at the end of the 19th or beginning of the 20th century.
Ian Muncaster, director of the Zwickers Gallery, told CBC News the painting was stolen from his gallery. He said it had been kept in consignment for the owner. The theft was captured by a surveillance camera in a nearby store.
“This guy was walking down Brunswick Street and obviously wanted to cross Doyle and continue to Spring Garden when he changed his mind,” Muncaster said Monday.
The man went to the gallery and looked at the paintings that were hanging in the windows.
“He peeked through the front door, put his hands around his eyes, went in, went out with this painting almost ten seconds later. He turned it around, looked back and then walked openly down the street.”
Muncaster suspects that it was more of a spontaneous crime than a targeted art theft.
Police said the alleged art thief was a man with dark, sloping hair, wearing a blue hoodie and sweatpants, black and white sneakers, and a black mask. The police released a photo of the man on Monday.
The police asked anyone with information about the incident to call 902-490-5020 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers. to call on-line or at 1-800-222-8477.
Muncaster hopes the painting will return.
A Dutch painting from the 18th century was stolen from his gallery some time ago. Two years later another gallery called him to ask about an 18th century Dutch painting that someone was selling.
The police arrested the would-be seller. Muncaster said the man turned out to be part of a gambling group that staked high stakes over long sessions. Another member of the group owed the man large amounts of money and gave him the $ 30,000 painting to pay off part of his debt.
“That painting was gone, but it stayed local for several years before reappearing,” he said.
In 1999, he was also stolen from a drawing by Alex Coville, only for a priest to return the item on behalf of a repentant thief.
Muncaster said he had alerted other art galleries and auction houses to prevent an illegal sale of the stolen painting by Marc Aurele de Foy Suzor-CotÃ©.
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