Diana Vreeland Stops Art Thief From Beyond the Grave

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Diana Vreeland, who once said she loved artifice, would have approved.
Diana Vreeland, who once said she loved artifice, would have approved.Photo: AP Photo

A portrait of Diana Vreeland, one of New York’s most recognizable fashion icons, was reportedly stolen from the Dream Downtown hotel in Chelsea at 2:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Painted by street artist Bradley Theodore, the portrait was insured for $45,000, according to the New York Daily News. It depicted a skeletal Vreeland in rainbow hues and holding a cigarette.

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Photo: Courtesy of Bradley Theodore

“It’s one of my first pieces,” Theodore said. “They have a suspect [and] internal video of him jacking it. He walked right out with it from the lobby.”

But at around 7 p.m. on Monday, a messenger — presumably sent by the thief — showed up at the hotel with a package containing the missing painting. Upon learning the painting had been returned, Theodore said simply, “It’s been a weird day.”