Modigliani in a toilet


This portrait of Rosalie Tobia by Modigliani was left in a staff bathroom close to a customs checkpoint in the Bergamo airport last week. Richard Owen of The Times has an article here.

The painting may be worth as much as $1.2 million. It was found wrapped in a sheet, packed in a box. Authorities have speculated that someone was trying to smuggle it out of the country. Italy’s Ministry of Culture would most likely have prevented the painting from leaving the country. Authorities also fear this may be part of a larger smuggling operation.

What seems most likely is a smuggler lost her nerve right before going through customs. Of course, the work has yet to be authenticated, so someone could have just forgotten a painting.

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

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