Heist of $1.5 Million Buddha Statue Leads to Arrest in Los Angeles

Barakat said the sculpture, thought to be originally commissioned for a temple centerpiece, was the only item taken.

“We have 200 objects back there, but this is our prize piece,” gallery director Paul Henderson told KTLA before the arrest. “I don’t think there’s another like it on the market anywhere. It’s four feet tall, it’s hollow cast bronze and it’s a stunning piece. It’s really aesthetically arresting and it’s shocking to see something like this go missing.” 

He added that there’s “nowhere” someone could re-sell the piece since it’s “an ancient artifact.”

“You can’t go on the market. You can’t take it to a pawn shop and sell it for a few thousand dollars, it’s just not possible,” he said. “So, it’s very interesting. It’s like a museum heist type thing where, ‘What are you going to do with this object right now?’ We’re all very curious and really puzzled, to be honest.”

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