|Man admits theft of Rembrandt's "Child with a Soap Bubble" missing for 15 years |
Colonel Stephane Gauffeny of the French "Office central de lutte contre le trafic des biens culturels" (OCBC - Central Office for the Fight against Trafficking of Cultural Property) police division, presents to the press on March 20, 2014 in Nice, southeastern France, Rembrandt's painting "Child with a Soap Bubble", stolen in 1999 from the municipal museum of Draguignan in southeastern France. The Rembrandt piece worth millions has been recovered in the southern city of Nice, and two people found in possession of the Dutch master's painting have been arrested, a source close to the investigation said on March 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE.
AGEN (AFP).- A French man has claimed responsibility for the theft of a Rembrandt painting worth millions that was stolen from a French museum in 1999 and recovered this week, a source close to the investigation said on Friday.
The 43-year-old from Lot-et-Garonne in southwest France told police he had stolen the Dutch master's "Child with a Soap Bubble" from a municipal museum as "a challenge" and had never earned any money from it.
He handed himself in on Wednesday night on the advice of his lawyer, a day after the painting was recovered.
Two men, including a former insurance salesman, were arrested on Tuesday in Nice in possession of the painting, which was valued at 20 million francs.
That equates to roughly 3.9 million euros ($5.4 million) today.
The artwork was stolen from a museum in the nearby city of Draguignan in July 1999. It portrays a teenage boy with long dark brown locks, wearing a golden necklace and holding a soap bubble.
After admitting the theft, the man was allowed to leave while further investigations are carried out, the source told AFP.
"He wants to draw a line under the matter. He is ready to take responsibility for his actions," said his lawyer Franck Dupouy. "He now has a settled family life, he has children and a job, and therefore wishes to conclude this matter."
The man kept the painting at his home up until 15 days ago, Dupouy said, and had "wrapped it with great care".
His client "never earned a single centime" from the sale of the painting. "He was cheated," he said, without explaining further.
The 17th century painting was stolen on July 13, 1999, from the municipal museum in Draguignan.
The man told police that he stole the painting by breaking into the municipal library next door to the museum during a military parade.
An investigation has been launched by the Central Office for the Fight against Traffic in Cultural Goods (OCBC).
The OCBC says there are still 13 Rembrandt portraits being sought worldwide.
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse
March 22, 2014
Rembrandt's Claudius Civilis temporarily on view at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
Man admits theft of Rembrandt's "Child with a Soap Bubble" missing for 15 years
Christie's to offer Jackson Pollock's Number 5 (Elegant Lady) from the E.ON art collection
Henie Onstad Kunstsenter returns Matisse painting to art dealer Paul Rosenberg's heirs
Lay of the Land: Von Lintel Gallery opens inaugural exhibition in Los Angeles
Ansel Adams' Clearing Winter Storm and Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico highlights sale at Heritage
Dr Ron Radford AM, Director of the National Gallery of Australia, to retire at end of third term
"I Cheer a Dead Man's Sweetheart: 21 painters in Britain" on view at De la Warr Pavilion
The Lindén Collection of European Coins: Mapping the history of modern Europe
Portland Museum of Art hires Scott Simons Architects to create campus master plan
Saffronart's twin auctions feature vintage interiors and artworks on paper
Sotheby's Chinese Art Sales in New York total $43.7 million, exceeding high estimate
BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair open in The Duke of York Square from 19 25 March 2014
Mosby & Co. to showcase Americana, historical and ethnographic categories on April 18
Bonhams to feature modern masterpieces of ceramic & glass art from Dorothy Weiss Collection
William "Billy" Haines Collection with Hollywood pedigree goes to auction
Scaled version of the world's largest equine sculptures in Scotland debut in New York City
Fire-resistant first edition Fahrenheit 451, signed by Bradbury, leads Heritage Rare Books Auction
A rare copy of J.R.R. Tolkien's legendary book The Hobbit goes under the hammer
For the second month in a row, Asian furniture achieves well over $1.5 million at Clars
New series of dynamic paintings by Dutch artist Carla Klein on view at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
The Night Sky: Ben McLaughlin's second solo exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery opens in San Francisco
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt
2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner
3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction
4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million
5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson
6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery
7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum
8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation
9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard
10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|