The painting depicted artist George Rodrigue as a blue dog, alongside his wife-to-be, Wendy
Members of punk band Stereo Fire Empire have found and returned a $250,000 (£166,000) painting hours after it was stolen from a New Orleans gallery.
Bassist Elliot Newkirk and his bandmates had just finished a show at the House of Blues when they saw the artwork propped up against a wall.
“Our guitar player was actually talking about how he saw on Facebook that a painting was stolen,” Newkirk said.
“Literally five minutes later” he found the canvas and “his jaw dropped”.
The painting, entitled Wendy and Me, was by beloved New Orleans artist George Rodrigue.
It was stolen in broad daylight from New Orleans’ George Rodrigue Studios at 15:00 on Tuesday, 6 January.
A thief walked into the gallery, lifted the picture from the wall and left. The entire incident lasted less than a minute, and was captured on security cameras.
The gallery released still images of the thief in action
Featuring the blue dog for which he is famous, Wendy and Me was used on the artist’s wedding invitations when he married his second wife Wendy in 1997.
The band handed it in to police, along with another artwork – a print called Three Amigos, that is believed to have been sold to a local non-profit organisation through the George Rodrigue Foundation for the Arts several years ago.
“I collect discarded art and things like that,” guitarist Evan Diez told a local news station.
“Even if it’s just a frame, I’ll pick it up. I saw those canvases and had to check them out.”
Singer John Kennedy picked up the story: “His face was ghost white – jaw dropped, like, ‘you don’t understand – this is a …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment