By COLlive reporter
The curious case of the missing portrait.
A few years ago, a full-size original oil painting of the Rebbe went missing after being displayed at one of the Chabad centers in New York City.
The portrait was drawn by the renowned Chabad artist Elie Benzaquen from Ottawa, Canada, who has successfully painted the Rebbe hundreds of times and over many years.
Benzaquen gave one of those original paintings to be exhibited for about a year at a Chabad center. The painting, valued in the thousands, measures approximately 36″ x 72″ or about 3 feet across by 6 feet high and is painted in oil on canvas.
He has never seen it again.
“At one point the painting was removed from the display window and given to someone, to be returned to my representative,” the artist said. “But it never made it back to the representative or to me and has since mysteriously disappeared.”
Benzaquen says that despite efforts to find it, he has not given up and is now asking the help of the public to track down this masterpiece.
He said the painting may or may not be signed with the name Elie Benzaquen, a BS”D above the name and the year it was created below the name. The artist may have signed his name as well on the back of the canvas.
He said the painting may now have a different frame and is promising a reward in valuable artwork to the person helping in this mitzvah of Hashovas Aveida.
If you have seen this painting, contact the artist by phone at (819) 420-5648 or email at [email protected]