A Brooklyn couple was arrested earlier this month after trying to sell a painting that was stolen last June from Manhattan’s Nicholas Roerich Museum to a supposed art collector who was actually an undercover cop. Denis Ryjenko and Natella Croussouloudis attempted to sell the piece, Himalayas, to the detective for $20,000, and Croussouloudis had even warned him that the work of art had been stolen and that he would be unable to freely display it in his gallery. Earlier, an informant had told the police they had been showing the piece off in their Brooklyn home, boasting that they hoped to get $40,000. The informant offered to introduce them to a buyer, who turned out to be the detective.
Talung Monastery, another Roerich painting that was stolen along with Himalayas, was returned to the museum by mail in August. It is unclear whether the couple themselves committed the theft, but last week in Manhattan Criminal Court Ryjenko admitted he tried to sell the piece, which he knew was stolen. He will serve four months in jail. Croussouloudis waived her court appearance and was held on $20,000 bail.