This time detectives didn’t have to track down the stolen art, someone led them to it.
Los Angeles police said Tuesday they recovered $800,000 worth of prints by Scottish abstract expressionist Benjamin Creme after a caller told them they were in the person’s home in the Los Angeles suburb of San Fernando.
Police believe the 1,200 signed prints were there for several years but the caller who had them had only recently checked a law-enforcement database and discovered they were stolen.
The caller, who was not identified, told police they were found when a storage locker kept by a relative who had died was cleaned out.
They include “Flame-Coloured Deva,” ‘’Shakti II” and other colorful works by Creme, who in later years became better known for his belief in UFOs and predictions of a second coming of Christ and other messiahs.
He died in 2016 at age 93.
Police didn’t describe the circumstances of the art theft or who the works might be returned to, and the case’s lead detective, Steven Franssen, did not immediately return a call for comment.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1922, Creme said he was 13 when he decided to devote himself to art and began painting and drawing constantly. Early works included landscapes, but by the 1940s he had turned more to colorful abstracts.
Beginning in the 1960s he began to turn his attention to more metaphysical issues, saying in writings and lectures that he was communicating telepathically with a “master.”
He developed a new form of meditation in 1974 called Transmission Meditation and began publishing several books, according to the Benjamin Creme Museum website. At one point he claimed Jesus Christ and other messiahs had returned to Earth but hadn’t revealed themselves.
JOHN ROGERS Associated Press