Snowy Mountain Painting By Cui Ruzhuo Stolen By An Art Thief?

A snowy mountain painting by Chinese artist Cui Ruzhuo was accidentally thrown into the trash, and now officials are searching the landfills for the multi-million dollar work of art. But police are theorizing the case of the missing painting might actually be the work of an art thief.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, George Zimmerman probably wishes his paintings were worth millions, especially since he’s heavily in debt after the Trayvon Martin murder trial. But you might find it more interesting how a Van Gogh painting was stolen during the Russian soviet revolution, only to have a descendant of the family demand its return from the American owners.

In this case, the now infamous snowy mountain painting sold for 28.8 million Hong Kong dollars by the Chinese company Poly Auction at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Hong Kong. If you translate the value of the ink painting into US dollars, that’s an astounding $3.7 million. Of course, this was not the most expensive painting to sell that day. That honor goes to “Landscape In Snow,” which sold for $23 million, setting a new record for the artist Ruzhuo.

The story started literally only a day after the snowy mountain painting was successfully sold at the auction. The next day it was reported missing, and video footage shows cleaners removing it only to have a security guard kicking the packaged work of art onto a pile of garbage. Dutiful janitors then picked up the snowy mountain painting without realizing what it was and apparently took it to the landfills, where officials are still searching.

Already there are fingers being pointed, but the Grand Hyatt claims the auction house is responsible since they supposedly hire their own staff:

“As the organizer has rented our event venue for this auction, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is doing its best to offer assistance to [the company] Poly Auction, including letting the police view the CCTV footage along with our security team.”

At this time, the snowy mountain painting is being listed as “lost property” but police have not discounted the idea that an art thief managed to pulled off an elaborate job. This would not be too unusual if you consider the history of art theft. For example, just in 2010 five paintings were stolen from a museum in Paris, including a work by Pablo Picasso, only to have the thief discard the valuables into a trash container. Similar to this incident, the trash was emptied out before the paintings could be found.

What do you think; was the snowy mountain painting stolen or simply accidentally discarded as trash?

[Snowy Mountain Painting Photo via Poly Auction]