Unusual Heist: An Ancient Buddha Statue Worth $1.5 Million Stolen from a US Art Gallery!
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02.10.2023 USA Los Angeles City   24
Unusual Heist: An Ancient Buddha Statue Worth $1.5 Million Stolen from a US Art Gallery!

A centuries-old Japanese bronze Buddha statue worth $1.5 million was reported stolen from an art gallery in Los Angeles last week. The Los Angeles Police Department said the 250-pound (114 kg) bronze sculpture was stolen Sept. 18 from the Barakat Gallery in Beverly Grove around 3:45 a.m.

The robbery was captured on surveillance cameras. . Surveillance footage shows the suspected thief allegedly gained access by breaking through a gate and using a dolly to move the statue onto a truck. The entire robbery lasted about 25 minutes. Authorities were stunned to see that a lone thief managed to pull off this heist despite his weight.

This unusual relic is a seated Buddha adorned with a halo, about 4 feet tall, dating from the Edo period in Japan (1603-1867). It is believed that it was specially created as the center of the temple.

If you look at the description of the statue on the gallery's website, it says: “This monumental bronze sculpture probably once dominated the interior of the temple. Judging by the inscription, it is likely that this work was once located in the Yudo-no-San Temple. We can imagine tired pilgrims trying to climb the mountain, only to reach the top and regain their energy thanks to this monumental sculpture. In Vajra mudra, the index finger of the left hand is grasped by the five fingers of the right; it is also known as the "six elements" mudra or the "wisdom fist" mudra as it symbolizes the unity of the five mundane elements (earth, water, fire, air and metal) with spiritual consciousness."

Continuing Developing the theme, Faiz Barakat, the owner of the gallery, added that these were their prized possessions, which they kept in the backyard of the gallery for everyone to admire and enjoy. Mr Barakat added that he believed the theft was deliberate because the sculpture was installed in an open space at the gallery.

Paul Henderson, the gallery's director, added that they did not think that anywhere or there is another similar sculpture on the market. The statue was 4 feet tall, hollow, cast in bronze, and was an extraordinary sight. He also added that they are surprised and shocked to see something like this go missing. However, he added that it would be difficult for a thief to sell such an item.

Police are currently investigating the case and searching the area for additional CCTV footage.

Source: timesofindia

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