"Stolen Rembrandt discovered" (ctd.)

May 29 2014

Image of "Stolen Rembrandt discovered" (ctd.)

Picture: Liberation

There's more news on the 'Rembrandt' (which isn't by Rembrandt) that was recently returned to a French museum in Draguignan. It was stolen by an alarm technician who became obsessed with the painting. Artnews.com reports:

Patrick Vialaneix, 42, has become an improbable celebrity for beating the system—twice.

He first saw the Rembrandt, L’enfant à la bulle de savon (Child with soap bubble), at age 13 on a visit with his mother to the municipal museum in Draguignan, France. It reminded him of himself so much that viewing it was “like looking in a mirror,” he said. He became obsessed with the painting, returning over and over to behold its charms.

His fixation escalated until finally, at the age of 28, he decided he had to steal it.

As luck would have it, he was employed as an alarm technician, so he began with a painstaking study of the museum’s security system. He planned the heist for July 13, 1999, during the noisy celebrations on the eve of the French holiday Bastille Day. Just before the museum closed, he discreetly crawled into a large cabinet and waited. Later that night, as helicopters thundered overhead, he jimmied open the painting’s bulletproof-glass case, slipped out the work in a few seconds, and escaped just as the alarm sounded. By the time the police arrived, he was gone.

Now, because of a French statute of limitations, M. Vialaneix will face no charges. 

Update - that is, no charges relating to the theft. He's still on the hook over his alleged attempt to sell it.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.