BEVERLY HILLS—After 24 years of unknown whereabouts, a stolen Auguste Rodin sculpture, “Young Girl With Serpent” (1886), appeared at Christie’s in London.
In 1991, a Beverly Hills mansion heist took place with the help of a housekeeper who, at a local bar, was overheard bragging about his employers’ affluence and proceeded to sell a duplicate house key for $5,000 allowing burglars to take action.
Over a several week span, $1 million worth of the owners’ belongings, including other Rodin works, were taken and still haven’t been recovered.
The housekeeper was arrested in Florida while sunbathing at a Miami hotel after allegations made against him pointed towards his involvement in the robbery. During investigations, the Beverly Hills Police Department found that a warrant was also out for his arrest in his homeland of Switzerland.
The Rodin sculpture, which was planning to sell at $100,000, originally emerged above surface in 2011 in New York and was then sent out to London for auction in 2011 by consignor.
After being located, the sculpture did not immediately return to the 80-year-old wife of the original owner, but instead was in the middle of a four-year legal battle between the consignor, Interpol and the insurance companies.
The sculpture has been returned to the hands of its original owner after negotiations took place in April 2015.
Other Auguste Rodin artworks that are still floating around the world since the 1991 housebreak include the marble sculpture, “The Eternal Spring”(1906-7) and a sketch of his 1888 sculpture, “The Kiss.”