On two separate days in late June, two paintings were stolen from the small Upper West Side museum devoted to the work of Nicholas Roerich, a Russian symbolist from the first half of the 20th century. According to the Times City Room blog, the two pieces (the painting “Talung Monastery,” pictured, and the pencil drawing “The Himalayas”) were stolen from the Nicholas Roerich Museum on June 24 and 28, and valued at about $30,000 total.
Yesterday Newsday reported that one of the pieces, “Talung Monastery,” had been returned to the museum in the mail, and that investigators are now examining the piece in hopes of finding the thief. That should prove pretty easy, since the envelope apparently had a return address on it, which makes me suspect even more that this was an inside job devised to attract publicity for a fairly unknown museum. If so, it’s working: Nicholas Roerich Museum info here, read more about the theft here, and the return here.