Need a hit of good news? How about this story out of Montreal last week: a Paul Klee painting stolen in 1989 —that’s 21 years ago!—was recovered and returned. “Portrait in the Garden” (below), valued at $100,000, was stolen from New York’s Marlborough Gallery.
Robert Landau, owner of Landau Fine Art in Montreal, says he was offered the stolen painting at the Art Basel Miami contemporary art fair last December. Landau told the specious dealer (whose name hasn’t been released to the public) that he had to investigate the picture before he could buy it — Landau then had it sent to his gallery. When a little digging turned up info confirming that it was hot, Landau called the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The Art Loss Register, who now owns the painting, will auction it at Christie’s. The investigation into the theft is ongoing. With the number of world-class works of art that are stolen and never heard from again, it’s awfully satisfying to hear about one turning up again. Mr. Landau, I salute you!
Listen to our story about a heist that didn’t end so happily … yet.
– Cary Barbor