May 18, 2024

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Oops! A Swiss Museum Has Lost Two Old Masters Paintings That It Sent for Cleaning

Oops! A Swiss Museum Has Lost Two Old Masters Paintings That It Sent for Cleaning

1 of Switzerland’s major museums is missing a pair of outdated grasp artworks soon after sending them out for cleansing past yr.

In a statement shared this 7 days, the Kunsthaus Zürich reported that two 17th-century paintings—Robert van den Hoecke’s Soldiers in the Camp (no date) and Dirck de Bray’s Daffodils and Other Flowers in a Glass Vase on a Marble Slab (1673)—are currently “untraceable.” An internal lookup has led the establishment to suspect that the artworks may perhaps have been stolen fairly than misplaced.

“Since theft can no for a longer period be dominated out,” the statement examine, “Kunsthaus submitted a grievance from unfamiliar persons, and the law enforcement requested to start off an investigation on January 13.”

The two tiny, framed pieces ended up painted on oak and presented to the museum via permanent loans from collectors. Both equally ended up amongst the 700-some artworks that the Kunsthaus Zürich moved off its premises for restoration get the job done final 12 months adhering to a fire that happened in the museum on the night of August 2. 

“For generations, collectors have reliable the Kunsthaus with their treasures,” claimed the institution’s director, Ann Demeester, noting that “almost three-quarters” of the museum’s holdings came by very long-phrase financial loans or personal presents. 

Dirck de Bray, Daffodils and Other Flowers in a Glass Vase on a Marble Slab (1673). Courtesy of the Kunsthaus Zürich.

“The probability that, irrespective of terrific security safeguards, will work are presently not to be identified [has] shaken us,” the director discussed. In addition to finding the absent artworks, Demeester explained the museum’s goal is to master from the incident. 

The Kunsthaus has proven a crisis administration staff to aid in the restoration exertion and the two lacking paintings have been submitted to the Art Reduction Sign-up, an intercontinental databases of shed and stolen artwork. 

In the meantime, the museum has opened its have investigation into the subject.

“Our get the job done does not close with the involvement of the law enforcement,” Demeester included. She claimed that the “Kunsthaus crew is in near call with all those people affected” and that “we [will] hold eyes and ears open up if the functions are continue to in the dwelling.”

Associates from the Kunsthaus Zürich did not instantly answer to Artnet News’ ask for for an update on the case. All other artworks the museum despatched out for cleaning have been found. 


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