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Man arrested in New York Dali heist
A surveillance camera image of a man suspected of stealing a $150,000 Salvador Dali painting. Photo: New York Police Department.
NEW YORK (AFP).- US authorities said Tuesday they have arrested a Greek man for making off with a Salvador Dali watercolor and ink painting worth about $150,000 from a New York private art gallery in June.

Phivos Istavrioglou, 29, was arrested Saturday at JFK international airport in a sting that lured him to the United States from Italy, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced.

"After surveillance images of a suspect were released to the public, the drawing ... was anonymously mailed back to the gallery from Greece.

"A subsequent investigation led to the arrest and indictment of the defendant, who is charged in New York State Supreme Court with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree," Vance said in a statement.

Famously mustachioed Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali's 1949 "Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio" was on display as part of the Venus Over Manhattan gallery's debut exhibition, which opened in May.

Surveillance video showed the suspect, wearing a black and white shirt and jeans, casually walking out of the Upper East Side art gallery with the painting sticking out of a shopping bag.

© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

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