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July 7, 2011

Thief Walks Away with Picasso Sketch a San Francisco Gallery Had Hung Close to the Entrance to "make it accessible to the public"

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by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief

Ari Burack reports in "Picasso sketch stolen from Geary Street gallery in daytime heist" for The Examiner in San Francisco that on July 5 a man "plucked" a Picasso sketch off the wall and left in a taxicab.

The Union Square gallery had insured the artwork before displaying it:

The framed piece, which had been perched on a pillar near the front of the gallery, was double hooked to the wall to try to prevent such a theft, Weinstein said.

The Examiner reports that "The stolen piece is part of Picasso’s Bresnu Collection. Maurice Bresnu was Picasso’s chauffeur. Picasso used to give sketch drawings as gifts to Bresnu and his housekeeper."

This is reminiscent of the story Picasso's electrician has told about receiving work from the artist. Now those works have been confiscated by the courts, the electrician is facing charges, and the question is whether or not the case will be settled in the electrician's lifetime.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: including a related story about a neighboring surveillance camera that may have recorded the thief leaving the gallery.