Thief Makes Off With $100K Chagall in NYC Gallery Break-In

The whereabouts of a Marc Chagall print valued at around $100,000 remain unknown after the work was stolen during a break-in at Carlton Fine Arts. According to the New York City Police Department (NYPD), three individuals forcibly entered the Madison Avenue gallery in the early hours of September 25 and made off with a framed edition of Chagall’s lithograph print “Eve” (1971); the suspects have yet to be identified.

Gallery security footage shared with NBC New York showed scenes from the burglary unfolding. A nondescript individual wearing blue disposable gloves can be seen carrying the framed work down the sidewalk and struggling to place it in the getaway vehicle in the rain at around 2:20am. A NYPD statement shared with Hyperallergic identifies the car as a “tan or silver 1995 to 1997 Honda Accord with a sunroof and damage to the front passenger door.”

Gallery owner Charles Saffati told Hyperallergic that the print was the seventh edition of 50 lithographs Chagall made of his visual interpretation of Eve in the Garden of Eden. Although Chagall’s general subject matter was deeply entwined with his identity and experiences as a Jewish man, the artist drew much inspiration from his extensive study of the Bible and devoted decades of his creative practice to illustrating its stories through printmaking and painting.

With two operating locations in Manhattan, Carlton Fine Arts has been in business since 1969, specializing in the acquisition and sale of Pop Art and work from Modern Masters. The gallery has since upped its security following the incident at “a tremendous cost,” Saffati said. A new storefront with security glass, an upgraded alarm system, and 24-hour armed security guards have been implemented since the robbery occurred.

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