The Mumbai police is investigating the disappearance of a VS Gaitonde painting from Nirlon House in Worli on Monday, according to a Mumbai Mirror report.
A written complaint by Janak Mathuradas, who is an important shareholder in Nirlon Ltd, said that this 1960 painting, valued at Rs 50 crore, could be stolen, as he feared that he saw a similar painting in an exhibition in New York. The complaint also said that all shareholders have a right on the company's assets and need to know the status of such prized company owned art.
It also stated that it was Poonam Bhagat, a socialite art connoisseur, who had suggested that the company purchase the painting, alleged the same report by Mumbai Mirror.
However, according to a report by Hindustan Times, the police deems it a case of misappropriation, and not theft. Thus, a thorough enquiry shall be conducted before criminal proceedings are initiated. A senior inspector at Worli police station, Virag Parkar, is quoted as saying that only after the verification of facts will a case be registered.
Known for its trademark serenity, Vasudeo S Gaitonde's untitled painting fetched the top price of Rs 29.3 crore at an auction held in Christie's in December last year, according to another Hindustan Times report, and set a record for highest selling Indian work in modern and contemporary art.
At another auction at Christie's, two other paintings of his was sold for £2,213,000 in London in May 2016. Gaitonde was described as an "uncompromising artist of great integrity" to buyers at the auction house, before the sale, according to a report by The Telegraph.