Rock Band Finds Stolen $250,000 Painting

George Rodrigue Wendy and Me (1997) Photo: New Orleans Advocate

Members of the punk rock band Stereo Fire Empire unexpectedly stumbled upon a stolen $250,000 painting by George Rodrigue, the New Orleans Advocate reports.

The quartet were enjoying a night out at the House of Blues in New Orleans when, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, they decided to go to a nearby bar before heading home. The musicians had just been discussing the daytime heist, in which a man reportedly walked into the Rodrigue Gallery and simply removed the painting from the wall before walking out.

Bassist Elliot Newkirk told the New Orleans Advocate, “Literally five minutes later, we walked past the Rib Room on Royal Street and there were these two paintings leaning up against the wall. We were like ‘holy s***, it’s the blue dog painting!’” The group immediately took the painting to the local police station, ending the search. The culprit is still at large.

The stolen artwork, Wendy and Me (1997), depicts the late artist as a tuxedo wearing blue dog, standing next to his wife Wendy, dressed in a white gown.

Jacques Rodrigue, the artist’s son and one of the organizers of the exhibition told Art Daily,“We are so thankful for the good samaritans that saved this special artwork. Dad painted Wendy and Me for his wedding to Wendy so this is an irreplaceable piece to my family. We are overjoyed to have it returned undamaged.”

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