Arts stolen are mostly worth millions of dollars and are often super hard to sell on the black market. Thus, thieves who take away famous works, are often in a precarious position of not knowing what to do other than returning it or demanding a huge sum of money.
While some art pieces might have taken years to recover, others have just miraculously resurfaced in the flea market or send to somebody’s home anonymously. Here are 5 such stories when some priceless pieces of art disappeared in thin air and were found again.
Buste de Femme by Pablo Picasso
This famous Picasso painting made in 1938, was stolen from Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Abdulmalik al-Sheikh’s yacht almost two decades ago. This beautiful and colorful artwork along with other artworks was protected by an alarm system. However, there were moved to an onboard bank vault to host a party, but when it was opened, the art piece had disappeared.
Although a lump sum reward was immediately offered, and an investigation was underway, the artwork couldn’t be recovered until 2019. It was art detective Arthur Brand who managed to return the artwork when it was anonymously mailed to his home address. According to him, the moment he unwrapped the picture, he knew it was the real painting and not the fakes that kept cropping up.
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
The Louvre in Paris hired a con-man, Vincenzo Perugia, in 1911 to fit some protective glass cases around artworks. However, his identity was totally unknown, and little did they know that this will only lead to the stealing of the most famous painting in art history. While working, one day Perugia spotted an opportunity and hid in a closet. After all the staff had gone home, he removed the painting from its frame and strolled out with the painting as the Louvre reopened the next morning.
However, his luck came to an end in November 1913. Perugia wanted to sell the painting to pocket profits and he contacted an art dealer, Alfredo Geri under the fake name ‘Leonardo Vincenzo’. Perugia traveled all the way to meet him and Geri persuaded Perugia to leave the masterpiece with him so that he could get it valued. However, the art dealer didn’t waste any time, alerted the authorities, which led to Perugia’s arrest.
Paysage Bords de Seine by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
This is another miraculous recovery story of a priceless piece of art painted by the French Impressionist- Pierre-Auguste Renoir all the way in 1879. The Paysage Bords de Seine went missing in 1951 and was nowhere to be found until it reappeared nearly 60 years later at a flea market in West Virginia. Marcia Fuqua bought the valuable artwork for just $7 along with few other regular pieces.
Although the nameplate revealed “Renoir 1841-1919”, Fuqua didn’t believe she was buying a genuine art piece and she even went on to store it in a rubbish bag for more than two years before she got appraised. But, in her dismay, in 2014, a federal judge ruled for the artwork to be returned to its original place and from then it is on display at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Woman-Ochre by Willem de Kooning
This painting is worth a whopping amount of $160 million today. Woman-Ochre by Willem de Kooning went missing for over 30 years before it was recovered from the home of a New-Mexico school-teacher couple in 2017. In 1985, somehow the painting was cut out of its frame at the University Of Arizona Museum Of Art in Tucson.
There was no use of security cameras, which made it even more difficult to catch a suspect and recover this painting immediately. It is said that no-one has any idea how it ended up in their bedroom, however, the two were photographed in Tuscon right before D-Day and they resembled the sketch of the suspects that were made during the investigation.
The Scream by Edvard Munch
The Scream is arguably one of the most fierce and recognizable paintings in the art world. However, there’s just not one but actually four versions of these paintings, all painted by the master in various mediums. But, two of these versions have come under the radar of thieves, who then robbed it.
One was stolen right from the National Gallery in Oslo in 1994 when the robbers got hold of the painting by just scaling a ladder and then left a note behind that mocked the gallery security. The other painting was taken away a decade later from the Munch Museum at gunpoint.
Both artworks have now been recovered. While the first thief, demanded a ransom amount of $1 million to give away the painting, but he was exposed by a major undercover sting operation that then retrieved it within a few months. And not a single penny was paid to the robber. While the second Scream version, had some water damage but it was also recovered successfully within a few years following the theft.
To Sum Up,
Although these 5 paintings disappeared, fortunately, they were all recovered and are now safe. If you also wish to get one of these paintings reproduced, there is no place like the 1st art gallery. You can get it done here: https://www.1st-art-gallery.com