Stolen Painting Found Inside Gallery Wall 24 Years Later

Smithsonian Magazine

A gardener clearing ivy from an Italian museum’s walls recently uncovered a metal panel. When he pulled it open, he discovered a nook in which someone had stuffed a black bag.

“[A]t first I thought it was trash,” the worker told Italian media, according to Andrea Vogt of the Telegraph, “but then I called my superiors right away.”

Inside the bag was a painting of a rosy-cheeked woman, staring over her shoulder with large, almond-shaped eyes. The work still needs to be examined by experts, but officials at the Ricci Oddi Modern Art Gallery in Piacenza suspect it may be a missing portrait by Austrian symbolist artist Gustav Klimt. More

8 Comments on Stolen Painting Found Inside Gallery Wall 24 Years Later

  1. seeing the pic w/ 2 guards beside the painting I immediately thought it looked like something I did in 10th grade art class!

    on closer inspection of the close-up pic, it’s a very, very pleasing work of art

    … & that’s all that is required … glad it wasn’t a banana stuck to a wall …

  2. The painting is by Gustav Klimt. His most famous work was considered Austria’s Mona Lisa, “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” I visited the museum back around 2000 where it use to hang.

    Austria was forced to give it back to the living relative because it had been stolen by the Nazis. It was sold about 4 years ago for $135 million and now hangs in New York’s Neue Gallery.

    There’s even a movie about the ordeal of getting the painting back “Woman in Gold.”

    I’ve always enjoyed his work.


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