Klimt’s”Portrait of a Lady,” acquired by the Ricci Oddi Gallery of Modern Art at 1925, was stolen in 1997, with only the painting’s frame located on the roof of the museum, The New York Times reported.
Investigations to the whereabouts of this 1917 work, appreciated today at roughly $66 million, stalled during the upcoming few decades.
Klimt’s”Portrait of a Lady” was reported stolen from the Ricci Oddi at Feb. 1997. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
“It is with no little emotion I can inform you that the work is accurate,” Piacenza Prosecutor Ornella Chicca said.
An authenticator in Bologna stated the painting is still in very good shape, having just suffered a scrape a border, maybe”from a clumsy effort to take out the portrait from its frame,” The Associated Press reported.
X-rays aided in the authentication process, officials said, revealing that”Portrait of a Lady” had been painted under a different portrait, as anticipated. (Experts determined in 1996 that”Portrait of a Lady” wasn’t the primary portrait on the exact same canvas, following a high school student’s observations of another Klimt painting revealed quite similar specifics.)
As for why the painting had been stashed in a wall, Anne-Marie O’Connor, a journalist who had written about some of Klimt’s paintings, theorized that the burglar knew it would be too tough to sell the painting during the initial investigation and possibly planned to come back one day and recover it.
“It might have been difficult to sell it to a private purchaser,” she told the AP.
The portrait is being held at a bank in Italy amid an investigation.
(AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
The portrait was held in Italy’s central bank during the analysis, the New York Times reported.
Klimt, who was born in Vienna in 1862, was considered a prominent member of the Vienna Secession movement. He died in 1918.
The Associated Press contributed to the document.