January 7, 2015 / 1:17 AM / 4 years ago

'Blue Dog' painting valued at $250,000 stolen from New Orleans gallery

The 1997 painting "Wendy and Me" by Louisiana artist George Rodrigue, is pictured in this undated handout image obtained by Reuters January 6, 2015. REUTERS/George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts/Handout via Reuters

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A painting by Louisiana artist George Rodrigue with an estimated value of $250,000 that depicts the artist as a blue dog beside his bride on their wedding day was stolen on Tuesday from a gallery in New Orleans, the artist’s son said.

The 1997 painting “Wendy and Me” was hanging in the Rodrigue Studio in New Orleans’ French Quarter when a man took it off the wall and absconded with it in a theft that took no more than 10 seconds, said Jacques Rodrigue, the artist’s son, who helps manage his late father’s art.

“This is not a piece that would have ever been sold,” said Rodrigue. “We’re really anxious to get it back.”

The gallery has shared video footage of the theft with New Orleans police, Rodrigue said. Police are in the early stages of their investigation, a police spokesman said.

George Rodrigue rose to prominence in the 1990s with his series of paintings depicting blue dogs based on a Cajun legend of a werewolf or ghost dog threatening to haunt naughty children.

He died in 2013 at age 69 of complications from cancer, his son said.

Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman

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