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May 28, 2014

ARTNews' Laurie Hurwitz relates tale of how French Rembrandt thief coveted painting for 15 years (just like the character in Donna Tartt's novel 'Goldfinch'

Child with Soap Bubble by Rembrandt?
by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor

ARTNews' Laurie Hurwitz describes how one man stole a painting attributed to Rembrandt from a French museum and kept it to admire for 15 years until he sold it to two men who were arrested by police in "French Rembrandt Thief Lives Real-Life Version of 'Goldfinch' Story" (May 28, 2014 online). According to Hurwitz's story as told to her by the thief, the alarm technician was 28 years old when he 'crawled into a large cabinet' right before the municipal museum in Draguignan closed and waited until the noise of the boisterous Bastille Day celebrations covered up his crime of jimmying open the painting's bullet proof case and exiting the building before police could respond to the alarm. The motive? Too have the 'Rembrandt' painting to himself which the thief fancied himself to resemble the model in the painting, Child with Soap Bubble. The irony? Journalist Vincent Noce on reporting the painting's recovery earlier this year noted that the painting may not be by the Dutch master.