New Orleans’ Stereo Fire Empire Find and Return Stolen Artwork Worth $250,000
A New Orleans punk outfit helped solve what they called a ‘Scooby Doo’-esque mystery when they returned some recently stolen artwork valued at $250,000.
During a show at the New Orleans House of Blues, Stereo Fire Empire noticed some artwork propped against the wall, recognizing it as the same art that had been recently stolen from George Rodrigue Studios earlier that week.
“Our guitar player was actually talking about how he saw on Facebook that a painting was stolen,” bassist Elliot Newkirk told Fox 8 News. “Literally five minutes later, we were walking past the Rib Room and our guitar player [Evan Diez] was like, ‘What’s that?'”
It turned out to be ‘Wendy and Me,’ a famous painting by the late New Orleans artist, George Rodrigue (check it out below). It was discovered along with a Rodrigue print called, ‘Three Amigos,’ which was stolen several years prior.
“[Diez’s] face was ghost white, jaw dropped, like, ‘You don’t understand, this is a $250,000 piece of artwork,’” said singer John Kennedy.
The band returned the valuable artwork to the police. Though they didn’t ask for a reward, they did say they might still gain something from the experience. “We joked we’re going to write a song about it, so we’ll see what happens,” Newkirk added.
Rodrigue’s son, Jacques, expressed his gratitude to Stereo Fire Empire for rescuing his father’s work. “We’re so thankful to the good Samaritans for bringing it back,” he said at a press conference.