Art has lots of value, history, and significance. It is known to express desires, thoughts, emotions, and intuitions. This is why it is highly valued and appreciated across various cultures. As with any other craft, there are some art pieces that are considered masterpieces and are thus highly valued. Some of these pieces are owned by governments, institutions, or even individuals. Legislation often exists to protect and preserve art. However, this has not resulted in some going against art legislations, stealing masterpieces, or even destroying valuable art for their own personal gains. Here are some of the most mysterious losses of valuable art.
a) Famous art thefts
When art masterpieces are mentioned, Vincent van Gogh will likely be part of the list. One of the famous resolved art crimes involved one of his treasured masterpieces, “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884.” The thief arrived at the Singer Laren museum in a motorcycle and smashed through the glass doors and made away with the painting tucked under his arm. Another famous Van Gogh painting to suffer a similar fate was the “Vase with Poppies,” which was stolen in 2010 from a museum in Cairo, Egypt. The theft of 13 valuable art pieces at the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum in the US state of Massachusetts in 1990 remain one of the greatest unresolved art disappearances. It involved two men who made their way into the museum disguised as policemen. Among the art pieces stolen include paintings by Rembrandt, Monet, Degas, and Vermeer. In 1969, two individuals in Palermo, Italy sliced open the “Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence” painting from its frame and made away with it in a rolled carpet. During the 1999 New Year’s Eve in Oxford, England, a thief broke into the Ashmolean Museum and made away with the 1870’s “View of Auvers-Sur-Oise” masterpiece by Paul Cezanne. There have also been violent art heists, such as the one that took place in 2006 at the Chacara do Ceu Museum in Rio De Janeiro Brazil. The thieves managed to get away with Pablo Picasso’s “Dance,” Claude Monet’s “Marine,” Henri Matisse’s “Luxembourg Garden,” and Salvador Dali’s “Two Balconies.”
b) Famous art that was destroyed
Some famous art pieces have also suffered the unfortunate fate of being destroyed, either intentionally or unintentionally. A mentally ill man walked into the National Gallery in London and fired directly at the “The Virgin and Child with St John the Baptist,” by Leonardo da Vinci with a shotgun. This caused significant damage to the artwork, with restoration taking place for several months. The initial painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware” is one of the famous paintings destroyed during a World War II air raid. Another famous piece destroyed during war was “The Stone Breakers (1849)” by Gustave Courbet. It was destroyed when the British and Americans bombed Dresden. Pablo Picasso’s “Le Peintre” was lost when a Swissair jet crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in September 2. 1998. Art has also been destroyed in an attempt to restore it, such as Cecelia Gimenez’s attempt with “Ecce Homo,” by Elias Garcia Martinez.