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Le musée invisible

Nathaniel Herzberg

What do Matisse’s Odalisque à la culotte rouge, Caravaggio’s Nativity with Saint Laurence or Vermeer’s Concert have in common? They are all works of art that have been stolen and never found again (respectively from the Sofia Imber museum in Caracas, the oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo and the Stewart Gardner museum in Boston). The author of this work picks in a very deep reservoir (even if international agreements and the creation of special police forces tend to lower the crime rates), and describes these often incredible disappearances, some of which still keep the investigators and simple amateurs mystified. Whatever happened to Portrait of doctor Gachet, bought for a pretty sum by a Japanese billionaire in 1990? The buyer had announced he would be buried with Van Gogh’s masterpiece. The man is dead and gone and the painting is nowhere to be seen … It is a shame this interesting inventory is tainted by spelling mistakes such as saint Francis of Assises, a smell of suffer, Francesco Goya, chasse in émail (for enamel). Obviously the dictionary must have been stolen as well …

Le musée invisible, les chefs-d’œuvre volés by Nathaniel Herzberg, du Toucan publishing house, 2009, 208 p., 39,90 €.

Le musée invisible - Nathaniel Herzberg

Review published in the newsletter #162 - from 18 February 2010 to 24 February 2010

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