ITALY: PIACENZA: PAINTING BY GUSTAV KLIMT IS STOLEN FROM MUSEUM
Restrictions: No Access Italy
Date: 23/02/1997 05:00 AM
Piacenza, Italy, 23rd February 1997
1. Exterior of museum
2. CU sign
3. Statue in garden
4. Pullout of painting
5. Pictures of "Portrait of a Lady" in a book
6. Men carrying the frame of the painting away
7. Various of investigators looking around
8. Police on patrol
9. Newspaper articles about the theft
A priceless painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt has been stolen from a museum in the northern Italian city of Piacenza.
Investigators believe the thieves stole the painting by extracting it through the skylight with a fishing rod.
Curators at Piacenza's Ricci-Oddi art gallery noticed that "Portrait of a Lady" was missing Saturday night, but believe the robbery may have taken place days earlier.
This is the museum that the painting "Portrait of a Lady" was stolen from under the noses of the curators.
The Ricci-Oddi art gallery in Piacenza was hosting an exhibition entitled "From Hayez to Klimt, masters from the 1800s to 1900s", when the robbery took place.
The exhibition is running between March 8th and June 8th.
It is thought that the thieves stole the painting by extracting it through the skylight with a fishing rod.
The oil painting's frame was found next to a skylight on the gallery's roof.
Curators at the museum realised that "Portrait of a Lady" was missing Saturday night, but it may have been stolen days earlier.
The theft may have gone unnoticed because many paintings had been removed for an outside exhibit in preparation for a restoration of the museum.
The oil painting was last seen the previous Tuesday and guards assumed the masterpiece had been put into store.
The police and investigators are now combing the area for clues.
Authorities speculate that the painting was stolen for a collector because it would be virtually impossible to sell the work given its fame.
No alarm sounded, and there were conflicting reports about whether it was functioning.
The Austrian artist (1862-1918), Klimt painted the work in 1916-17.