$200,000 Picasso drawing swiped from San Francisco gallery
The Picasso pencil drawing "Tête de Femme" (Head of a Woman) and the suspect caught on surveillance video walking away on Tuesday.
July 6th, 2011
12:54 PM ET

$200,000 Picasso drawing swiped from San Francisco gallery

A Pablo Picasso drawing worth more than $200,000 was taken from a San Francisco art gallery on Tuesday in a brazen midday theft, according to local media reports.

The pencil drawing, titled "Tête de Femme" (Head of a Woman), was hanging just inside the Weinstein Gallery on Geary Street in San Francisco. A well-dressed man wearing dark glasses entered the gallery, grabbed the 10 5/8-by-8 1/4-inch drawing and fled the gallery into a waiting taxicab, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Police are asking for the public's help in recovering the art.

"We're hoping someone in the public might recognize this piece, if they see someone walking around with it or trying to sell it," police spokesman Albie Esparza told the Chronicle.

The piece will be hard to sell, art historian Sharon Flescher, of the International Foundation for Art Research, told the Chronicle.

"The legitimate collectors won't touch it," the paper quotes Flescher as saying.

Police described the suspect as a 30- to 35-year-old male who is about 6 feet tall, according to CNN affiliate KGO-TV. He wore "a dark jacket, white shirt, dark pants and loafers without socks," KGO reported.
Gallery President Rowland Weinstein told the Chronicle the stolen piece was part of a collection that Picasso had originally given to his driver. The gallery acquired it in May, Weinstein told the San Francisco Examiner. The gallery also has pieces by the likes of Chagall, Matisse and Dali.

"My goal is to keep this kind of work accessible to the public, and there’s always a risk to that,” Weinstein told the Examiner. He said security procedures would be reviewed so that policy does not have to be changed.

The Picasso was insured, but Weinstein told the Chronicle he is most worried about preserving the art itself.

"My greatest fear is that, with all this attention on it, the person will realize it's unsellable and will dispose of it in a less-than-proper manner," the Chronicle quotes him as saying.

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Filed under: Art • California • Crime • San Francisco
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. mandeng


    July 6, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mandeng

    July 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. thieves, liars, cheaters

    It's who we are now so get used to it. Go ahead and lock away your things and load that gun if you want, but it's not going to end the way we treat each other these days. I would imagine that terrorists are jealous of how we get away with treating each other as we do. America is beautiful still, but look at us. Disgusting in our filth, revelling in our fatness, eating our own luxuriant dung. And then there's always those who could care less one way or another. Must be nice this ignorance.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • it's free speech after all

      Couldn't agree more. Americans are too proud to look at themselves and see a complete failure of civilized human behavior. Not many could even spell the words ending that previous sentence. Just look at the polarization of the society, with the police state on one side and the drug-addled and alcohol-swaddled citizenry on the other. And they're often one and the same. The point is, just look at the cost of living compared to the quality of life, and then ask what justifies paying top dollar for the garbage spilling out from the soulless corpse of the United States.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. ben

    Hard to sell, yeah right, the guy probably already had a fence before he stole the drawing. Even reputable collectors have been known to come into possession of art that's been "liberated".

    July 6, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. contessa

    Wow in the middle of the day! Thumbs up to security LOL! Oh and i dont think it'll be back its already bought as i expect!!!I mean i dont think this guy is too stupid to grab it flee and run knowing what it is just for nothin!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. guest101

    "A well-dressed man wearing dark glasses entered the gallery..." What were they expecting? A shaby dressed angel?

    July 7, 2011 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. Who Cares

    what a brave man ➡

    July 7, 2011 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. Who Cares

    Simple thing, use ur common sense and U will get it

    July 7, 2011 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Daniel Rocco Rusk

    The collective IQ here is 10.

    July 11, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. pat


    July 14, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
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