Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Speculating on the whereabouts of the 17 paintings stolen from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Early in March, the Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale (TPC), Italy's 300-member art crime military police unit, found 37 paintings that had been stolen more than four decades ago from a residence in the Parioli district at the home of a neighbor.

A 50-year-old widow had put four paintings up for sale (the auction had has not been publicly identified) and the images of the artworks had been published in a sales catalogue.  In a routine check of objects for public sale against an in-house stolen art database of 3 million objects, the Carabinieri discovered that four of the paintings (I don't know which ones) that had been put up for sale had been reported stolen in 1971. The current owner of the paintings, which upon further investigation was found to have 37 of 41 stolen paintings from the 1971 burglary, is reported to have said that she and her husband purchased the paintings in a private sale more than two decades ago and that she was selling them to raise money after her husband's death.

Could the paintings stolen from Montreal's Museum of Fine Art still be in Montreal, located within walking distance of the museum, maybe in one of the lovely residences adjacent to Rue Sherbrooke east toward Westmount or west toward McGill University?

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