Stolen Masterpieces Recovered in Scotland

Works by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Samuel Peploe and Federico Barocci Returned.

Poor record keeping and slack security by the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Museum of Transport, and Maryhill stores in Scotland has aided the disappearance of at least 10 works of art worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Three paintings stolen from the gallery, more than a decade ago have been recovered after one of the artworks was spotted in an auction catalogue. The painting, “Wooded Landscape With Figures” by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot was discovered by one of the curators at and Museum, in November. An anonymous letter, which prompted the inquiry by Lothian and Borders Police, highlights the problem. Members of staff are blamed for unlawfully taking and selling the artworks, both on the black market and through legitimate auction rooms. In an operation that has been going on for the past six years, the police have finally had a breakthrough. The artwork vanished into thin air, as long ago as the1990’s. The ability for staff members to remove parts of the collection, undetected was compounded by the absence of documentation for the works in store. Unlimited access and availability to storerooms by staff members was also a factor. The Edinburgh auctioneers, Lyon & Turnbull assisted police in tracking down works by artists Samuel Peploe and Federico Barocci belonging to Glasgow museums. The Peploe bought by the Ewan Munday Gallery in Scotland was seized by Strathclyde Police on December 21.All three are understood to have been either sold or attempted to be sold by the same person. Other paintings thought to have been stolen included, a “woodland scene” by the English Romantic painter John Constable and “Salmon Fishers” by one of Scotland’s best-known painters, William McTaggart. They are still unaccounted for.





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