Centuries-Old Buddha Statue Valued at $1.5 Million Stolen from an Art Gallery in USA



We hear stories of theft very frequently. But these usually involve valuables like jewelry, electronics or money. But did you know that an ancient Buddha statue at an art gallery in the USA was stolen recently? Continue reading to know more about this quirky story straight from Los Angeles. 

A centuries-old bronze Buddha statue, a masterpiece from Japan’s Edo Period (1603-1867), has been stolen from an art gallery in Los Angeles, leaving a void worth $1.5 million (approximately ₹12.5 crore). This rare artifact, a seated 4 ft Buddha adorned with a celestial halo, holds profound historical significance and aesthetic allure.

Heist Caught on CCTV

The heist unfolded in the wee hours of September 18, when an audacious thief managed to make away with this monumental sculpture. The 250-pound (114 kg) bronze marvel, believed to have been commissioned as the centerpiece of a temple, was purloined from the Barakat Gallery in Beverly Grove around 03:45 AM. Shockingly, the audacious act was captured in its entirety by the gallery’s surveillance cameras. Astonishingly, the entire robbery, from intrusion to escape, transpired within a mere 25 minutes. Authorities and art enthusiasts alike have been left astounded by the thief’s audacity and resourcefulness.

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A Monumental Work of Art

The stolen statue from the art gallery in USA transcends mere aesthetics; it holds profound cultural and spiritual significance. Historically, it was likely the focal point of a temple, gracing the interior of the sacred space. The inscription on the statue suggests that it may have once resided in the Yudo-no-San Temple, where it would have welcomed weary pilgrims, rejuvenating their spirits after arduous climbs up the mountain. The statue’s symbolism lies in its depiction of the Vajra mudra, where the index finger of the left hand is enveloped by the five fingers of the right. This intricate gesture, also known as the “six elements mudra” or the “fist of wisdom” mudra, symbolizes the harmonious unity of the five worldly elements—earth, water, fire, air, and metal—with spiritual consciousness.

A Priceless Treasure Lost

Fayez Barakat, the gallery’s owner, holds the stolen artifact in high esteem, considering it a priceless treasure. He previously displayed it in the backyard of his home, allowing visitors to bask in its splendor. Upon relocating the statue to this art gallery in USA, he intended for it to remain accessible to all, a source of admiration and enjoyment. 

Intensive Investigation Underway

In response to this audacious heist, law enforcement agencies have launched a comprehensive investigation. The authorities are tirelessly scouring the vicinity for additional security camera footage that might shed light on the thief’s identity and movements.

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The Barakat Gallery, renowned not only in Los Angeles but also with locations in London, Seoul, and Hong Kong, has been an esteemed custodian of art and cultural heritage. The loss of this irreplaceable masterpiece has cast a somber shadow over the world of art, leaving a void that may never be filled.

Are you an art enthusiast? If yes, you can check out timeless masterpieces at any popular art gallery in the USA by booking Indian Eagle tickets. You can not only get the best airfare available but also resolve all your queries with 24/7 customer service. 

When you are done exploring the art galleries in USA, you can travel from USA to India on a budget. Just book your itinerary with Indian Eagle and get ready for a seamless journey.

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