NYPD: This Couple Tried to Make Off With a Basquiat

But police say they left gallery without the painting
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2022 11:13 AM CDT

It was an audacious and nearly successful move: Police on Wednesday said a man and woman entered a Manhattan gallery on May 14, took a $45,000 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat from the wall, and began to walk out. They were stopped before making it out of Taglialatella Galleries, however. While the painting didn't leave the premises, they did, and the NYPD is now trying to locate them. An NYPD rep says they were last spotted walking north on 10th Avenue, per NBC News. They are described as both being white and in their 20s or 30s; the female had blonde hair and was dressed in a navy coat, while the man wore a maroon and gray sweatshirt and red sneakers.

The New York Post reports they are said to have had European accents. It's not the first time Basquiat's work has been targeted by alleged thieves: Artnet in 2017 reported a 67-year-old Spanish woman was arrested for allegedly stealing a Basquiat from a collector she worked for, supposedly with the intention of demanding a ransom. Also per Artnet, a $10 million Basquiat briefly went missing in 2015 in Paris in the midst of a rich couple's contentious divorce. (More Jean-Michel Basquiat stories.)

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