Painting Worth Rs 2.5 Crore Lost at German Airport Found at a Recycling Dumpster

In this photo released by the police department in Duesseldorf on Thursday Dec. 10, 2020, showing Chief Detective Michael Dietz holding a painting from French artist Yves Tanguy.  (AP)

In this photo released by the police department in Duesseldorf on Thursday Dec. 10, 2020, showing Chief Detective Michael Dietz holding a painting from French artist Yves Tanguy. (AP)

The businessman, whose identity was not given, accidentally left behind the painting by French surrealist Yves Tanguy at a check-in counter as he boarded a flight from Duesseldorf to Tel Aviv on Nov. 27.

Asurrealist painting worth more than a quarter-million euros (dollars) that was forgotten by a businessman at Duesseldorf’s airport has been recovered from a nearby recycling dumpster, police said Thursday.

The businessman, whose identity was not given, accidentally left behind the painting by French surrealist Yves Tanguy at a check-in counter as he boarded a flight from Duesseldorf to Tel Aviv on Nov. 27.

By the time he landed in Israel and contacted Duesseldorf police, the 280,000-Euro (340,000-dollar) oeuvre, which had been wrapped in cardboard, had disappeared.

Despite multiple emails with details about the 40×60-centimeter (16X24-inch) painting, authorities could not locate the artwork, police spokesman Andre Hartwig said.

It was only after the businessman’s nephew travelled to the airport from neighbouring Belgium and talked with police directly with more information that an inspector was able to trace the painting to paper recycling dumpster used by the airport’s cleaning company.

“This was definitely one of our happiest stories this year,” Hartwig said. “It was real detective work.”

Earlier, a painting that hung for decades in a municipal building in Brussels was authenticated as the work of Flemish master Jacob Jordaens.

After analysis including dendrochronology — dating works from the wood panels they are painted on — experts determined that it is the oldest known version of “The Holy Family” by Jordaens, painted in the early 17th century.

The “incredible discovery” was made by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage with the help of international experts as part of an inventory of cultural property in the Brussels district of Saint-Gilles.

The painting had hung high in an office in the Saint-Gilles municipal hall since the 1960s.

Jordaens, a leading Flemish Baroque painter along with Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, created the work in 1617 or 1618 when he was just 25, the institute said in a statement.

The analysis found that the wood used in the panel depicting the baby Jesus with Joseph, Mary and her mother Saint Anne came from the same tree as one used by Van Dyck.

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