Art connoisseurs are on the lookout after a rare, signed Pablo Picasso print was stolen from the lobby of a Wisconsin appraiser’s office.
Bill DeLind, of DeLind Fine Art Appraisals LLC in downtown Milwaukee, told InsideEdition.com the etching went missing sometime Friday afternoon.
"Torero," which means bullfighter, is worth between $35,000 and $50,000. There are only 30 in the world.
It was displayed prominently in the office's lobby.
“It was available on sale but we never put any price tags or identifications, so it’s not like someone looked at it and knew it was worth a lot of money,” DeLind explained. “There was nothing that would indicate its value.”
The artwork was last seen in the lobby at around 11 a.m., and someone must have slipped off with it when they weren’t paying attention, he said. By 2 p.m. they noticed it was missing and contacted the police.
“You don’t misplace a piece of art like that,” he said. “It was there in the morning and all of a sudden it was not there.”
DeLind suspects the thief is someone with a good knowledge of modern art.
“Someone with a trained eye would recognize the original signature from Picasso and subject matter,” he said. “This is a piece done in 1949 […] it’s just typical of the work that Picasso was doing.”
The piece has been on display at the appraiser's office since the fall.
DeLind said he has been in contact with galleries, museums and private collectors around the country and the world, and believes the thief will be unable to attempt to sell the painting without authorities being alerted.
He asks that anyone with information contacts the Milwaukee Police Department.
The Milwaukee Police Department confirmed to WDJT they are continuing to investigate the artwork theft.