The Rembrandt stolen from a California luxury hotel over the weekend has been recovered, according to the Associated Press. The circumstances of the theft are, at best, lowbrow.
According to reports, the work was stolen over the weekend from a private art display at a Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Rey “while a curator was momentarily distracted by someone who seemed interested in buying another piece.”
When the curator faced the Rembrandt once more, it was gone.
Ah, the ol’ “look over there!” trick.
Post-recovery, AP calls the theft “a low-tech caper.” Yesterday, things were a little more dramatic, with LA Weekly‘s blog claiming, “It sounded like a scene out of a high-intrigue film about white-gloved burglars, something with the tone of a James Bond caper or The Thomas Crown Affair.”
The piece was a sketch called “The Judgment,” completed around 1655. It is an 11-by-6-inch drawing valued at $250,000.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has yet to release more details on the recovery. Investigators had, according to the AP, “several strong leads.”
UPDATE: According to NBC Los Angeles, the sketch was discovered after a late night tip to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The drawing was found at an Encino church. Detective Clarence Williams said, “They realized it’s going to be very hard to sell because of the coverage of this incident.”