Art Thief Casually Lifts Expensive Dali Painting Off Wall of Upper East Side Gallery

The Venus Over Manhattan gallery on Madison Avenue fell victim to a daylight heist Wednesday, as an unidentified art thief removed an expensive Dali painting from the wall and placed it inside a shopping bag — all in full view of a security guard.

Art Thief Casually Lifts Expensive Dali Painting Off Wall of Upper East Side Gallery

"Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio," a 1949 watercolor-and-ink painting valued at over $150,000 had not been hanging long in the gallery, which opened in early May.

In CCTV footage, the perp can be seen nonchalantly sauntering out of the Madison Avenue building without drawing attention to his canvas shaped bag. When shown the footage, the security guard, who had a brief exchange with the man before allowing him to approach the painting, ostensible to photograph it, said he didn't seem familiar.

"We're cooperating fully with the police and have no further comment," said gallery owner Adam Lindemann.

Earlier this week, a self-described "up-and-coming Mexican-American artist" vandalized a Picasso painting at Houston gallery by spray painting over it with a bullfighter stencil.

[screengrab via New York Post]