Pricey Works of Art Snatched From Israeli Collector's Yard

The statues, 'Vomitus-Narcisus' (2007) and 'Stranded on a Watermelon in the Dead Sea' (2009) were placed in the yard during the past year.

Camea Smith
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Camea Smith

Two bronze sculptures created by artist Sigalit Landau have been stolen from the yard of an art collector in Herzliya.

According to Landau, each of the sculptures, which were of feminine figures, is estimated to be worth $100,000. But both Landau and the collector fear that the statues were not taken with the intent to resell them as artworks, but were instead stolen for the purpose of being melted down for the metal of which they are made.

The two statues, "Vomitus-Narcisus," created in 2007, and "Stranded on a Watermelon in the Dead Sea," from 2009, were both placed in the collector's yard during the past year.

The collector recently hired workers to pour concrete around the sculptures and fix them to the ground. On Tuesday evening the laborers dismantled the marble on which the sculptures were standing, as they were planning to pour the concrete on Wednesday. But the sculptures were nabbed at some point that night.

Landau, who represented Israel last year at the 54th Biennale in Venice, said that "Vomitus-Narcisus" was created during the Second Lebanon War, when she was pregnant. It depicts a life-size woman bent over and seemingly looking at her reflection, reminiscent of the Narcissus of Greek mythology, but she is actually staring at her own vomit. The sculpture was featured in a 2008 exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

The second sculpture stolen is a figurative interpretation of a video Landau made in 2005, in which she was filmed trying to keep her balance while standing on a watermelon at the bottom of the Dead Sea. The sculpture depicts a woman in various shades of rust with upraised arms, as if in surrender, as she is trying to remain steady on the round, green watermelon.

Landau said on Wednesday that about half a year ago another work of hers was stolen from a collector in Caesarea, but she did not report it to the media.

Vomitus-NarcisusCredit: Yotam From
Stranded on a Watermelon in the Dead SeaCredit: Yotam From

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