$1.5 Million Statue Stolen from Los Angeles Gallery

(TheConservativeTimes.org) – A bronze Buddha statue weighing close to 250 pounds and valued at 1.5 million dollars was stolen from an exhibition in Los Angeles last week. The statue is one of the finest examples of Japanese art, dating back to the prosperous Edo period (1603-1867). It was speculated that the monument was commissioned to serve as a focal point in a temple.

The statue was stolen at about 3:45 a.m. last Monday, as shown by closed circuit video from the museum. Authorities said the burglary was reported at the Barakat Gallery, located between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue, near North La Cienega Boulevard.

A Budget rental moving truck arrived at the front gate and was caught on camera. The driver got out, kicked open the gate, and entered the gallery. He loaded the statue onto the vehicle using a dolly.

Barakat Gallery owner Fayez Barakat estimates the whole procedure took no more than 25 minutes.

He said he treasures the statue. It used to be in his backyard at home, and when he relocated to the gallery, he decided to transfer it there so that everyone could enjoy it as much as he did.

The Barakat showcases ancient art of museum caliber, with a focus on Classical relics.

Paul Henderson, the gallery’s director, called the Buddha statue a prize piece among the almost two hundred other works on display. Henderson has worked there for over a decade, and this theft is the first he has ever encountered. He felt it would be very difficult to sell the priceless relic without raising suspicion.

The West Hollywood gallery has 7,000 square feet over two stories and 12 rooms, as the company website describes. The gallery displays historical artifacts such as antique jewelry, classical sculptures, and more. The gallery is open daily from 10 am until 6 pm to the public.

Fortunately, the statue has since been located!

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