Photo caption: A Serbian special police officer guards what is believed to be the impressionist masterpiece "Boy in a Red Waistcoat" by Paul Cezanne in Belgrade yesterday.
ArtsBeat reports: In 2008 three masked gunmen walked into a private museum in Zurich, grabbed four paintings – a Cézanne, a Degas, a van Gogh and a Monet – threw them into a van and drove off. Now Serbian police have recovered the Cézanne, according to Reuters.
“We believe the painting is Cézanne’s ‘Boy in a Red Waistcoat’ and three suspects were detained in connection with that,’’ a Serbian police official told Reuters. “This painting is worth tens of millions of euros."
The heist, which took place at the Emil Georg Bührle Foundation museum, one of the top private museums for Impressionist and post-Impressionist art in Europe, was said to be the largest art theft in Swiss history. At the time of the incident, the four paintings were estimated to be worth a total of $163 million. Days after the theft two of the other paintings – a Monet and a van Gogh – were recovered in an abandoned car, but the Cézanne and Degas have been missing.
The Bührle museum’s director confirmed that the painting was the authentic “Boy in a Red Waistcoat,” Reuters reported.
The work, from about 1888, depicts a boy in traditional Italian dress. Three other versions are in American museums. Experts believe that that painting alone is worth $110 million.
Meanwhile, the Degas, “Ludovic Lepic and his Daughter," is still missing.