Stolen Matisse Painting Recovered After 25 Years

A Matisse painting stolen 25 years ago from a Stockholm museum has been recovered by a British art specialist in the United Kingdom.

The painting entitled Le Jardin by the legendary French artist Henri Matisse has an estimated value of $916,200. Theft of the artwork was committed in 1987 when a thief utilized a sledgehammer to break his way into Stockholm’s Moderna Museet where the piece was housed.

An article by Today writes that the painting’s theft was reported to Interpol authorities and the Art Loss Register. The register is considered to be the largest global private database of artwork that has been stolen or is missing.

For 25 years the Matisse work has been missing with no information in regard to its whereabouts. Kristen Ek, a spokesperson for Moderna Museet, expressed joy at the painting being found:

“It is fantastic that the painting has turned up again. It was stolen so long ago that really we had almost given up hope. We are happy the painting seems to be okay and in good condition. It was a good start to the New Year.”

BBC News reports that the man behind the Matisse recovery after 25 long years is Christopher Marinello, an art recovery specialist with the Art Loss Register in London. The register was contacted in late 2012 by an art dealer who was offered the piece by a Polish art collector.

Prior to working with the painting, Charles Roberts, of Charles Fine Art, searched the register and found the stolen Matisse listed in its database. Upon confirmation, the process was passed to Christopher Marinello who successfully negotiated the recovery from the individual in possession of the Matisse.

The artwork is currently secured in a safe pending its release to the Swedish Ministry of Culture. The 25 year mystery of the stolen Matisse is coming to an end and the recovered painting will be returned to its home in Stockholm shortly.