The International Art Center in Parnell was robbed on April 1. Photo: Jason Oxenham

Thieves Steal $1 Million Worth of Art from Gallery in Auckland

Two paintings, worth $1 million, were stolen from the International Art Center in Auckland, New Zealand, on Saturday, April 1, the New Zealand Herald reports. The thieves broke the gallery’s street-front window, where the works were on display, around 3:30 AM and made off with two canvases painted by Gottfried Lindauer in 1884.

Henry Hall, co-owner of the building that houses the gallery, said that the works are very well known and it would be “crazy” for someone to try and sell them within the art market. He added that, since the collecting community on New Zealand is small, the perpetrators would have to go overseas to unload the works.

Lindauer is a Czechoslovakian artist who was trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna before he relocated to New Zealand in 1874. He is best known for his painting of the Maoris, the indigenous Polynesian people. Both Chieftainess Ngatai–Raure and Chief Ngatai–Raure were due to be auctioned.