Stolen Paintings Discovered in Prominent Gallerist’s Home

Malaysian police return stolen works to the artist. Via The Star

Six allegedly stolen paintings worth RM1.5 million ($432,700) have been recovered in Kuala Lumpur, local police say.

Eight suspects were apprehended in all, including a gallery owner who remains unnamed, but is known to carry the Malaysian honorific title of “Datuk.”

The oil paintings of Mount Everest went missing on November 20 at Kuala Lumpur’s airport. They were flown in for the painter, contemporary Chinese artist Chen Shi Jie, also known as Chen Da Wai, who was participating in the Sasaran International Art Festival in Kuala Selangor.

Police rounded up suspects between December 6th and 9th, including four men and four women. Among them are the gallerist, several academics, painters, and other arts workers, local police told Malaysian media at a press conference held on Tuesday.  

The paintings were found at the Datuk’s house in Malaysian township of Damansara. They have since been returned to the artist.

According to the New Straits Times, Chen painted the scenes of Mount Everest’s peaks at 7,000 feet above sea level and has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first artist to paint at such a height. Two of the paintings, completed in 2001 and 2008, respectively, were featured on China’s postage stamps and telephone cards.

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