Stolen Matisse recovered in US
July 23 2012
The FBI has recovered a stolen Matisse in Florida. The picture belongs to the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum, and had been missing for ten years after someone swapped it for a very dodgy-looking fake. From The Daily Mail:
'Odalisque in Red Pants’ had been on tour to other museums several years previously and at some point been switched with a forgery [above right, by the way].
The Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum had bought the original painting in 1981, but how and when the painting was replaced with a replica, and by whom are questions still unanswered.
The director of Caracas Museum, Rita Salvestrini, suggested that the switch many years ago had been done by an insider. She said in 2003, when the forgery was first discovered, ‘There had to be inside complicity. You can't just make the switch freely inside the museum.’
I'm not so sure about that last point. Stranger things have happened...