Showing posts with label Serbia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Serbia. Show all posts

March 15, 2013

Novi Sad City Museum welcomes home "The old man with the fur cap" -- but did Serbian police recover a Rembrandt painting?

The Novi Sad City Museum welcomes home
"The old man with the fur cap"
This week did Serbian police recover a painting by Rembrandt or a known fake? The Portrait of the Father stolen from the Novi Sad City Museum in 2006 has been deemed a fake Rembrandt, according to ARCA Trustee Anthony Amore and Tom Mashberg, authors of "Stealing Rembrandts" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011).

An appendix in "Stealing Rembrandts" includes Portrait of Rembrandt's Father as one of more than 80 "Rembrandt" artworks stolen in the past century (excludes works looted by the Nazis during WW II).

According to CODART, the specialists in Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide, the painting is likely a copy of a Rembrandt painting at Tyrolean State Museum in Austria: Old Man with Fur Cap, 1630.

The Novi Sad "Rembrandt" oil painting was recovered 60 kilometers (40 miles) south of Novi Sad (BBC) and more than four people have been arrested in connection with the robbery.

According to Nicholas Wood in The New York Times ("Rubens and Rembrandt, a Day's Loot for Balkan Gangs" February 19, 2006), two masked men carrying a pistol robbed the Navi Sad City Museum on January 8, 2006:
In just 15 minutes, they tied up an unarmed night watchman and a museum guide and, standing on antique furniture, lifted the paintings off the walls. One of the four works taken in the January theft was attributed to Rubens, another to Rembrandt.
The thieves then 'walked out the front door ... loaded their haul into a parked car and drove away, confident that the police had not been informed' because the museum did not have an alarm system. After years of war and a struggling economy, the city had scheduled a $50,000 alarm system to be installed on January 15 (the thieves struck one week early). The stolen paintings came from the collection of Branko Illic, a doctor. [Woods, NYT]

On March 13, the Novi Sad City Museum welcomed home "Old man in a fur cap"; three paintings remain missing: 

Unknown Flemish painter,
 Life Head of Christ, oil on panel
Rubens's studio,
the first half of the 17th century,
 bust of Seneca oil on board
Pier Francesco Mola (1612-1666)
Night landscape with fishermen, oil on canvas

April 27, 2012

Interpol's Stolen Art Database Reports Eight Cézanne Paintings Missing

by Catherine Sezgin, ARCA Blog

Interpol is the international police organization established in 1923.  In 2009, its database for Stolen Art was made available to the public.  It takes about one to two weeks to obtain permission and a password to access the lists of recovered and stolen art objects.

Earlier this month, police in Serbia recovered a painting by Paul Cézanne that had been stolen from an Impressionist museum in Zurich in 2008.  Interpol lists eight stolen artworks created by Cézanne.

Auvers sur Oise
Period: 1889-18892
Measurements: 46 cm x 55 cm
Stolen from Oxford, United Kingdom, on January 1, 2000.

La Montagne Sante Victoire
Period: Circa 1865
Measurements; 33 cm x 49 cm.
Stolen from Le Pecq, France, on March 27, 2008.

Peches sur un plat
Period: 1872-1877
Measurements: 23 cm x 30.50 cm
Stolen from Argentina, Buenos Aires, on December 26, 1980.

Still Life
Measurements: 49 cm x 64.20 cm
Stolen from Oberageri, Switzerland, on April 25, 1996.

Paysage au Lac
Period: 1896

Sentier parmi les roches
Period: between 1899 and 1902

Vue dans un jardin (watercolour)
Stolen from France on December 8, 2003.

Human Face

Stolen from France on December 8, 2003.  This watercolour is painted on the reverse side of another painting, Vue dans un jardin.

April 19, 2012

Last week's ABC News Video of "Stolen Cézanne Recovered by Serbian Police"

Recovered Cézanne painting
Last week ABC News broadcast the video footage of the Serbian police recovering a Cézanne painting hidden in the roof upholstery of a vehicle.

Cézanne's painting, Boy with a Red Waistcoat, had been stolen from the Foundation E. G. Bürhle in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2008.

Other information about this recovery may be found here and here.

April 14, 2012

Associated Press: Serbian officials announce recovery of Degas painting stolen from Bührle Collection in 2008; Ransom paid one year after theft

Degas' Ludovic Lepic and His Daughters/Bürle
by Catherine Sezgin, Editor-in-Chief

Serbian officials announced this week that payment of a 400,000 euro ransom returned Edgar Degas' painting Ludovic Lepic and His Daughters to the Bührle Collection one year after it was stolen, according to "SEE IT: Serbian and Swiss police raid nets stolen Cézanne painting", an article written by Dusan Stojanovic, Chief Correspondent for the Associated Press in Belgrade, and published April 13 on the website

This information was released at a news conference in Belgrade attended by Serbia's organized crime prosecutor Miljko Radisavljevic and Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic, Stojanovic reported.

The FBI and Interpol had still listed the Degas painting as stolen and missing as of this week.

Other interesting details Stojanovic reported from the press conference:

The police raid recovered the Cézanne painting in the roof upholstery of a black van;

Four men, including the leader of the gang that conducted the robbery, were arrested in Belgrade and Cacak, according to Prosecutor Radisavljevic;

The police raids this week, planned since 2010, "took place when the suspected robbers decided to take the Cézanne painting to a wealthy Serb who agreed to buy it for (euro) 3.5 million ($4.6 million), according to Interior Minister Dacic.

Police also found $2 million in cash and firearms with the four men, according to Dacic.

Thank you to Marc Balcells, ARCA alum, who noticed the news on recovery of the Degas painting.

April 12, 2012

Serbian Police Recover Cézanne's The Boy in the Red Waistcoast Stolen in 2008 from the E. G. Bührle Collection in Switzerland

Cézanne's "The Boy in
 the Red Waistcoast"/
Foundation E. G.
 Bührle Collection
by Catherine Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief
BBC News reported today that Serbian police recovered "Boy with a Red Waistcoat", a painting by Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) stolen in 2008 from the Foundation E. G. Bührle Collection in Zurich.

According to the BBC, police arrested three people in Belgrade and Cacak.

The blog, Eastern European Forum, has a simple English translation of the information in Sebia's daily Blic: "The operation was organized by the Service for the Fight Against Organized Crime (SBPOK) and the Organized Crime Prosecution.  The Serbian police cooperated with their colleagues from several states and the operation was prepared for several months."

Cézanne's Le Garçon au gilet rouge measures 79.5 by 64 centimeters.  Emil Bührle, a German-born industrialist who sold arms to the Nazis during World War II, purchased the oil on canvas for 400,000 Swiss Francs in 1948. It is now estimated to be worth more than $100 million.

On Sunday, February 10, 2008, "three armed men in ski masks" ("Armed robbers steal $160 million worth of art from Zurich Museum", The New York Times, February 11, 2008) entered the Zurich museum 30 minutes before closing to steal four paintings by Cézanne, Degas, Van Gogh, and Monet.

One week later, two of the paintings, Vincent van Gogh's Blossoming Chestnut Branches (1890) and Claude Monet's Poppies Near Vétheuil (1879) were "discovered in the back seat of a white sedan parked outside a psychiatric hospital" "about 500 meters from the gallery" (BBC News Online, "Stolen Paintings Found in Zurich").

Edgar Degas' Ludvovic Lepic and His Daughters (1871, oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm) is still missing.

If you would like to read more about recovering stolen art in Serbia ....

In October 2011, former Scotland Yard Detective Richard Ellis recovered two Picasso paintings in Serbia that had been stolen from Switzerland in 2008.

Sandy Nairne, author of Art Theft and the Case of the Stolen Turners, discusses the Serbian underworld with The Independent's Mathew Bell in July 2011. More information about Nairne's book can be found on the ARCA blog here and here.

UPDATE: The report by Reuters here.

The story appears to have originated with journalist Tamara Markovic Subota of Serbia's Blic, a daily newspaper.  According to the translation by Google here, the three arrested were Serbian nationals and part of organized crime -- a fourth accomplice was arrested for trafficking in firearms.

Provenance of Cézanne's Boy with a Red Waistcoat/Le Garçon au gilet rouge (Buehrle website):

Ambroise Vollard, Paris (ca. 1895–1909) (1) ▪ Marczell de Nemes, Budapest (1909–1913) (2) ▪
Gottlieb Friedrich Reber, Langerfeld/Wuppertal, Munich, Lugano, Ascona & Lausanne (1913–1948) 
(3) ▪ Emil Bührle, Zurich (28 August 1948 until [d.] 28 November 1956) (4) ▪ Given by the heirs of 
Emil Bührle to the Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection, Zurich, no. 18 (1960).
(1) Acquired from the artist, most probably in connection with the exhibition of 1895 in the dealer's gallery, Cézanne to Picasso, Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde, (exh. cat.) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York etc. 2006–07, pp. 47 (n. 88), 284.

(2) Acquired from the above on 30 July 1909 for FF 20.000, exh. cat. as above; Catalogue des tableaux 

modernes […] composant la collection de M. Marczell de Nemes de Budapest, (sale cat.) Galerie ManziJoyant, Paris (18 June 1913), no. 90.

(3) Acquired at the above sale for FF 56.000, R. K., "Die Auktion der Sammlung M. von Nemes", in Cicerone (5) 

1913, pp. 516, 518; Peter Kropmanns, Uwe Fleckner, "Von kontinentaler Bedeutung, Gottlieb Friedrich Reber 

und seine Sammlung", in Die Moderne und ihre Sammler, Französische Kunst in deutschem Privatbesitz vom 

Kaiserreich zur Weimarer Republik, Berlin 2001, p. 352.

(4) Acquired from the above for CHF 400.000, AStEGB, Entry Book I, 14 July 1948: "Reber, Dr. G. F., Lausanne, 

Oelgem. a. Lw., Original (verpfändet), Cézanne, Paul, Le Garçon au gilet rouge, 79,5 x 64 cm, Hoch"; the 

acquisition price mentioned in AStEGB, Letter from Emil Bührle to Alois Miedl, Zurich, 27 August 1948, 
offering a painting by Cézanne, Portrait of Choquet [R.460] as a commission to Miedl.

ARCA footnote: Alois Miedl purchased part of the assets of Jacques Goudstikker after the Jewish art dealer fled Amsterdam in 1940 (you can read more in Spiegel Online "Nazi-Era Profiteering: Holland Returns Art Stolen from Jewish Collector" and here and here on the ARCA blog.