A Magritte is Recovered


Magritte’s Les Reflets du Temps has been recovered. The work had been stolen from storage in 2006. The work may be worth up to £350,000. The work was discovered by a member of the public who checked it against the London Stolen Art Database. This is welcome news, and perhaps will give pause before planned cuts the the Art and Antiques unit take place.

Det Supt Vernon Rapley, head of the unit, said: “For anyone considering buying art, antiquities or cultural property the database is an invaluable resource to help buyers check that they aren’t being sold stolen items.

“I am really pleased that the database has enabled this Magritte to be found so that the victim can have it returned to them.”

Exactly right, but the website explicitly states that it should not be used for due diligence purposes. The problem with databases, is there are too many, and they are divided regionally. Ideally there would be one overarching database any prospective buyer could check.

There is no word either on who stole the work. Unfortunately that is often the case when stolen art like this is recovered. The thieves are long gone, and the authorities main priority (and perhaps rightly so) is the recovery of the work. This also makes it appear as if there are little or no penalties to be had for stealing works though.

Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

1 thought on “A Magritte is Recovered”

  1. This is welcome news, and perhaps will give pause before planned cuts the the Art and Antiques unit take place.

    For answering the phone and taking delivery of this painting,

    Yeah, that shows just how effective Police are at doing their job.

    The press release on the Met website, here

    http://cms.met.police.uk/news/policy_organisational_news_and_general_information/stolen_art_recovered

    also says

    The painting is currently with the Art and Antiques Unit whilst they investigate the circumstances surrounding its return, but will be returned to its owner in due course.

    Much more than meets the eye, perhaps a claim for a reward is next on the agenda for the member of the public??

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