Stolen ‘Klimt’ found hidden in a wall will take a month to authenticate, officials say

Gustav Klimt's Portrait of a Lady (1916-17)

A Gustav Klimt masterpiece stolen 22 years ago from an Italian gallery appears to have been discovered hidden within the institution walls, officials say. Portrait of a Lady was taken on 22 February 1997 from the Ricci Oddi gallery in the northern city of Piacenza. A gardener found the painting earlier this week, after removing a metal plate on an exterior wall. The work was concealed in a bag buried within a cavity.

The painting will take up to a month to authenticate, the gallery vice president Laura Bonfanti tells The Art Newspaper. Massimo Ferrari, the gallery director, told the BBC that the stamps on the back of the canvas are original and linked to the Klimt piece. Bonfanti adds that an inventory number also needs to be checked.

Asked if the gallery had received an insurance payout for the work, Bonfanti says: “I dont know at this point. Wed need to check the documents from 22 years ago.” The work is in very good condition as it has not been outside, she adds. “We dont know anything about how it was put there [in the hidden recess]”.

Reports speculate that the thieves deposited the work in the wall after using a fishing line to hook and remove the Klimt from display (the frame was found on the gallery roof after the theft).

Jonathan Papamerenghi, a member of the Piacenza council responsible for artsRead More – Source