Work Returned to the Hermitage

The AP is reporting that Jean-Leon Gerome’s Pool in a Harem (1876) has been returned to the Hermitage by the Communist party. Gennady Zyuganov, a Communist party official said a man brought the work into the party headquarters.

The painting was stolen from the Hermitage in 2001, and has been valued at $1 million. It seems the painting may have been severely damaged, and cut into 4 different pieces. It is not clear why exactly the work was handed over to the Communist party. It’s another in a long string of mysterious art thefts. This work has been returned, but catching the thieves seems highly unlikely at this point.

(Image: Jean-Léon Gérôme, “Pool in a Harem,” ca. 1876 ©2003 State Hermitage Museum)

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Hermitage Theft Thwarted

The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, which announced a massive theft earlier this summer, was the victim of an attempted robbery last Friday. A man smashed a glass display and attempted to steal a silver cup before he was arrested. The director of the Hermitage, Mikhail Piotrovsky said that the widespread coverage of the thefts this summer may have prompted the thief to try and steal the object. A great deal was written on the missing objects this summer, and the death of a former curator who died last October further increased speculation. However, this theft appears ill-planned. The man smashed the glass with his elbow or knee and was soon apprehended.

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