In a recent development on an article we reported on in September, the $1,5 million Buddha statue stolen from a Beverly Grove area gallery has been successfully recovered.* A suspect has been apprehended on suspicion of receiving stolen property, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The 113-kilogram (250-pound) statue, which measures 1,25 meters (4 feet) tall, was stolen early on the morning of September 18 from the Barakat Gallery. Less than two weeks later, he was found in a truck and a suspect, Justin Livick, 44, was taken into custody. He was cited and released, according to authorities.
The precise location of the discovery of the statue remains unknown. It is also unclear who was responsible for the initial theft. Police said it was unclear whether Livick stole the statue or received it from a third party. The robbery was caught on camera, although footage from the scene did not show the suspect's clear facial features.
Gallerist Frieze Barakat expressed his immense attachment to the statue, revealing that it dates from the Edo period in Japan (1603-1867) and that it was created by the artist Tadazou Iinuma.
The thief, caught on surveillance footage, had broken into the gallery through the driveway gate and used a cart to transport the statue onto a truck in just 25 minutes.
Barakat shared his emotional reaction to the theft, stating: "I had it in the garden of my house, and when I moved into this gallery, I put it in the gallery garden so that everyone can admire it and enjoy it. » (Spectre News 1)
Barakat added that he was heartbroken by the theft.
Paul Henderson, director of Barakat's Los Angeles location, expressed surprise at the audacity of the theft, given the statue's significant weight. He mentioned that the sculpture is a unique and valuable temple sculpture from the Edo period, which would be difficult to resell in the market.
The stolen statue bears an inscription that translates to "Produced by Tadazou Iinuma, first year of Shouho, Kanoe." Prayed and requested by Ryozen, master of the Shingon religious party, Dainichi-Nyorai, Yudo-no-San temple, of the highest social class. This inscription suggests that it was likely commissioned by a religious official named Ryozen and placed at Yudo-no-San Temple, a holy site on Mount Yudono in Japan. (Spectrum News 1)
Barakat expressed hope that the thief understood the historical and cultural value of the statue and that it was not stolen solely for its weight in bronze.
In addition to its Los Angeles location, Barakat Gallery has galleries in Hong Kong, Seoul and London.
Authorities encouraged anyone with information about the theft to contact the Los Angeles Police Department at 1-877-275-5273.
* Prized bronze Buddha statue stolen from LA Gallery (BDG)
Buddha statue stolen for $1,5 million recovered; suspect arrested but released (Spectrum News 1)
Arrest following the theft of a Buddha statue worth $1,5 million (people)
Buddha statue for $1,5 million stolen from Los Angeles gallery (hyperallergic)
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