$100,000 Rodin statue, stolen 24 years ago, recovered

A statue by Auguste Rodin, stolen 24 years ago from a home in Beverly Hills, has been recovered, and will likely have a new home soon.

Rodin, a French sculptor considered by some aficionados to have been the father of modern sculpture, lived from 1840 until 1917. His most famous work, “The Thinker,” shows a seated man with his chin on his hand.

The lesser-known “Young Girl with Serpent” was stolen in 1991 as part of a $1 million robbery at the Beverly Hills home, while the owners were away.

All these years later, it has been recovered, Art Recovery Group announced Thursday. The London-based company was involved in returning the statue to an insurance company.

“In accordance with the insurance policy to which this work was subject, ‘Young Woman with Serpent’ was offered back to the theft victim upon its successful recovery. In this instance, however, the victim has decided that the work should be sold, and it will now be consigned later this year for a new owner to enjoy,” spokesman Jerome Hasler told CNN.

Statue surfaced at Christie’s Auction House

A housekeeper was implicated in the theft and arrested while sunbathing in Miami, Art Recovery Group said in a statement.

Then, in 2011, someone offered the statue on consignment to Christie’s auction house?, which valued the piece at around $100,000.

In the intervening years, talks have taken place between the person who placed the statue with Christie’s and Art Recovery Group, which was hired by the insurance company to broker a deal.

Hasler described the original owners of the statue as “an affluent, but not showy family from Beverly Hills … They were just great collectors.”

Additional artworks taken in the 1991 theft remain missing.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported to whom the statue was returned. The sculpture was returned to an insurance company.

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