When a $1 million stolen Matisse painting is recovered after 26 years missing, I'd say that's enough cause for celebration. Especially when the work in question is Henri Matisse's 1920 painting, "Le Jardin." The piece was stolen from Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm during an early morning robbery on May 11, 1987. The burglar reportedly smashed into the museum with a sledgehammer and made off with the well-known work.
Some twenty years later, the painting popped up mysteriously when Charles Roberts, an Essex based art dealer, was offered the familiar artwork by a Polish collector. Roberts then searched for information on its background through Art Loss Register (ARL), a database which holds information about stolen art. Once communications began rolling, ALR director Christopher Marinello began the negotiation's for the painting's return to Swedish hands.
It is unlikely that the thief will ever be caught because with so much time passed, the MOMA is just glad to have the piece back safe.
Neither Charles Roberts nor the unnamed Polish collector are suspected in relation to the crime.
"It is fantastic that the painting has turned up again," said Kristin Ek, spokeswoman for the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, told Reuters.