What drives thieves to steal art masterpieces? Is it the challenge since it's impossible to sell them in the legitimate art market or display at home for their own pleasure?
Today was a great day for the curator of the Van Gogh Museum, because two paintings of the Dutch master, which had been stolen from the museum in 2002, have been recovered. They were hidden in a farmhouse near Naples.
Art thefts are not very common but they happen… I remember the empty frames that remain hanging in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in homage to the paintings that were stolen from the private collection of Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840–1924) in 1990.
Among the stolen works was The Concert, one of only 34 known works by Vermeer, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Rembrandt´s only known seascape and other works by Rembrandt, Degas, Manet, and Flinck. Unfortunately these have not been recovered yet.
I hope one day they will be found as well as the six Portuguese Crown Jewels, which had been loaned for an exhibition at the Hague Museum in the Netherlands in 2002 and were stolen during a breach in security. They were irreplaceable pieces.