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Adam Lindemann is a New York writer and art collector. Earlier this year, he opened a gallery named Venus Over Manhattan on New York’s Upper East Side. Lindemann selected a space that used to house the Vera Wang Bridal Boutique. His debut exhibition was inspired by the story of an aristocratic, naval-gazing esthete. The debut featured no works from his own contemporary blue chip collection. That was fortunate for Lindemann, a polo-playing socialite that ARTNews once described as cocky.

Yesterday a short white male strolled into the gallery which still displays its debut exhibition. He wore an untucked black-and-white checkered shirt and dark denim jeans. The little man was carrying a large shopping bag.

Along the back wall, he was approached by a lone gallery rent-a-cop who told the NY Post he was “keeping an eye” on the suspicious patron. The man asked the guard if he could take a picture of Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio, a mid-Century work by Salvador Dali. That’s fine, he was told, as long as he didn’t use a flash.

The gallery security officer was then distracted by another visitor.

It seems the short little man used that moment to make a very big move. He pulled the Dali off the wall and put it in his shopping bag. Security cameras captured him as he left the gallery. When the rent-a-cop returned to the scene of that earlier exchange, he discovered an empty space where the Dali used to be.

Insurance adjusters told police the work is valued at around $150,000.00.

[NY Gallerist | NY Daily News]

UPDATE: The painting was returned via a trackable shipment