A stolen treasure trove of signed prints by the late Scottish abstract artist and spiritual mystic Benjamin Crème have been recovered by Police in Los Angeles.

The authorities were alerted in late September after discovering nearly 1,300 prints in a storage unit in the LA suburb of San Fernando.

In a statement the Los Angeles Police said, “Upon looking through the items, the reporting person discovered the artwork was stolen after visiting a law enforcement website and immediately notified authorities.'

The LAPD estimates the objects are altogether worth $800,000, which could be an underestimate of the value of the work of this fascinating artist.

The prints were returned to their original owner, lithographer Michael Flaum who worked directly with Benjamene Creme to make the prints in the 1960s and ’70s.

LAPD detective on the case received Flaum's warm thanks for their safe return.

The works were part of a trove of roughly 2,200 prints reported stolen from a storage facility owned by Flaum in West Los Angeles in 2012. How they came to be in San Fernando is not currently known. Unfortunately, another 974 prints, also taken in the heist, remain missing.

Born in Glasgow in 1922, Creme was both an abstract artist and a mystic with hundreds of followers, while prophesying the second coming of Jesus Christ, whom he believed to be a deity called Maitreya, the World Teacher. Creme claimed that he was able to directly receive messages from the Christ which were recorded at meetings in Friends House, London.

The author of this article attended some of them and even met Mr Crème himself, who struck him as a very charismatic and educated man. The author also personally knew one of Mr Creme's followers and collectors, a Mrs Jean Foubister, and saw, up close, an example of Mr Creme's artwork in her home, an intriguing piece called 'The Soul' which was of the modernistic school. There was no doubt in this author's mind that despite his detractors, Mr Crème was completely sincere and genuine .

Mr Creme's followers are still awaiting the 'Day of Declaration', when the Christ, according to Crème, will make his presence known to the world.

Creme died in London in 2016 at age 93.

Image attribution with modifications:

video of radio broadcast re: Day of Declaration