How stolen Dutch art fooled even Sotheby's expert eyes
THE HAGUE (AFP) - A cunningly disguised stolen work by Dutch contemporary artist Jan Schoonhoven managed to fool experts at the world's largest art broker Sotheby's, who auctioned it in late June for nearly US$300,000 (S$384,810).
Now Dutch police are investigating and questions are being asked how the modern art relief, sculpted in 1969 by one of the country's best-known fine artists, managed to slip through the net of a carefully managed system to end up on a London auction block.
Simply named "R69-32" - referring to the year of creation and an identification number - the white rectangular work which consists of blocks filled with triangles made of papier-mache, disappeared from the Van Bommel Van Dam Museum in the eastern city of Venlo in March.
It was one of four pieces stolen at the time. How they disappeared and who took them remains a mystery and forms part of the police investigation.