Showing posts with label 2003. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2003. Show all posts

September 30, 2016

April 26, 2003 - Museum Theft, The Whitworth Art Gallery at The University of Manchester, Manchester, England

Sometime after 9 pm on April 26, 2003 three works of art estimated to be worth approximately £4 million, were stolen from the Whitworth Art Gallery at The University of Manchester in England. 

The thief or thieves are reported to have entered the Whitworth by applying force to the rear steel-covered doors. The artworks were then quickly removed from the Margaret Pilkington room without anyone noticing. 

The paintings taken were:

The Fortifications of Paris with Houses (The Ramparts of Paris), Summer 1887
by Vincent Van Gogh
Watercolor, gouache, chalk and pencil on paper, 40 x 54 cm

Poverty (Les Misérables), 1903 Barcelona
by Pablo Picasso 
Ink and blue watercolour, 37.5 x 26.7cm


Tahitian Landscape, 1891-93
by Paul Gauguin
Watercolour and pencil on paper, 16 x 27 cm

Thanks to an anonymous tipster, possibly the culprit, all three artworks were recovered, located by police on Monday, April 28, 2003.  They were found in a disused public lavatory in Manchester's Whitworth Park, less than a quarter mile away from the museum.  Unfortunately, the artworks had not been treated delicately.   They were retrieved from inside a soggy tube where they had been rolled up carelessly and stuffed indiscriminately inside.

As a result of their manhandling, the paintings had suffered from exposure to humidity.   The Van Gogh watercolour had also suffered a not insignificant tear.

Along with the artwork, Law enforcement discovered a handwritten note that lamented on the poor security at the the Whitworth. The note read "the intention was not to steal. only to highlight the woeful security."

February 20, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009 - ,, No comments

Iraq's National Museum nears re-opening

Iraq’s National Museum is scheduled to open on Monday, 2/23, unless it isn’t. Controversy rages over which ministry controls the museum, amid continued worries about security.
On February 11, Dr. Zainab al Bahrani, a former curator of the Met, Dr. Lamia al Gailani, a former curator of the Iraq National Museum, Dr. Donny George Youkhanna, a former Chair of Iraq’s Board of Antiquities and Heritage, and two others, signed a letter to Iraq’s government requesting postponement of the opening of the National Museum, for security reasons. The full text is available here.
The reopening would be a great step forward for Baghdad and Iraq. The collection, even reduced by looting, is one of the country’s crown jewels. The positive economic value of museums for tourism and education is undisputed, and much-needed in Iraq. However, it would be tragic to incur any further loss due to inadequate security, which is tantamount in a country with shaky peace. Over 12,000 items were stolen after the 2003 invasion, only half of which have been returned.