It was an act so audacious that Dali himself might have been proud. This past Sunday, a man walked into a San Francisco gallery, grabbed a $20,000 etching by the late Spanish Surrealist off an easel in the gallery’s front window, and strode back onto the street—all in a matter of 30 seconds.
Dennis Rae Fine Art had staged an exhibition of some 30 works by Dalí. The thief’s target was Burning Giraffe, a hand-colored, limited-edition etching done by the artist in 1967.
Gallery director Rasjad Hopkins, who was the only staff member on site that day, said the theft likely happened while his back was turned. “He was in and out of there in a shot,” Hopkins told “He probably did it in less than a minute.” Hopkins noted that the work was insured.