Archive for February 19th, 2008

What was lost is found

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Today is a bad day for art thieves and looters. The Swiss police have found 2 of the 4 paintings stolen from a Zurich museum earlier this month, and the Italian police have recovered more than 400 looted artifacts including a Pompeiian fresco, Etruscan goblets and Greek vases.

From Swiss, Italian Police Recover Stolen Art, Artifacts:

The two paintings, by van Gogh and Monet, were found on Monday in a car parked outside a Zurich psychiatric hospital, police said and have an estimated value of 70 million Swiss francs ($64 million).

Police were notified about the paintings by an employee of the hospital on Monday afternoon who told them there was a suspicious white vehicle in the car park in front of the clinic and there were two pictures sitting on the back seat, the police said in a statement.

That’s right. They left the $64 million dollar paintings in the car. That gets the WTF prize of the year. Here’s hoping the thieves do something equally stupid with the remaining two paintings, Cezanne’s “The Boy in the Red Vest” and Degas’ “Viscount Lepic and His Daughters“.

The Italian artifacts were at least squirreled away in an anonymous Frenchman’s villa.

Investigators identified the colourful Pompeiian fresco as perhaps the most prized object. Probably a 1st century A.D. work, the fragments show gardens, fountains and parts of a villa that was once home to Poppea Sabina, the wife of Emperor Nero.

Other significant finds included a virtually intact mosaic showing a young boy with cropped black hair and large black eyes, and a rare Kalpis—a Greek vase used for holding oil or water—featuring delicate figures.

An assortment of jugs, saucers, chalices and vases bearing figures in red, beige and black completed the rich collection.

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