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The Greek police captured Rubens’ Wild Boar Hunt

02 September 2011 / 13:09:57  GRReporter
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The Greek police captured the masterpiece of the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, stolen from the Royal Museum in Brussels, Belgium in 2001. The Wild Boar Hunt painting wanted by Interpol and the FBI was found in the trunk of the car of a 65-year-old antiquarian and a 40-year-old star of a Greek provincial television. The work was created between 1618 and 1620 and its value on the black market is around € 15 million. Oddly, it appears that the couple is actually innocent and it had no idea about the identity of the picture.

Through unknown channels of international trafficking in stolen works of art, Rubens’ masterpiece has found itself in the drawing room of a prominent Greek collector. Apparently, one of the few who can afford to pay that amount and have contacts at such a high level in the underworld, dealing in stolen works of art. However, the economic crisis had its impact on the collector who had need of cash and decided to part with the Rubens’ Wild Boar Hunt.

So, the work was found in the car trunk of the couple of traders who fell into the trap of bogus buyers. They were employees of the Greek Ministry of Culture and the police. After long haggling, the bogus buyers and traders agreed on a price of € 6 million and scheduled a meeting, which proved fatal. The two detainees, who live in the Athens suburb of Voula, have nothing to do with the initial theft of the painting from the Belgian museum. It is not yet known who the "masters" of the robbery are and the investigation of the case continues as well as the search of the former "owner" of the painting.

Although the police had not officially reported the name of the Rubens’ work, anonymous sources have reported that it is the oil painting Wild Boar Hunt. It has all the features of the Flemish school of painting from that period, especially the so-called Dutch light. It represents a hunting scene with all the details in the figures of people and animals with the pronounced depicting of their muscles. The size of the painting is 28x52 cm.

It is not a secret that there are private homes in Greece adorned with masterpieces of the world fine art, although you can count them on the fingers of your hand. It is not a secret that there are worldwide scale collectors in Greece. However, the incautiousness with which such a collector decides to sell a painting with such a reputation without fear of falling into the hands of justice is impressive. Nevertheless, anything is possible in times crisis.  

Tags: RubensWild Boar HuntStolen paintingBelgium museumGreek collectorCrime news
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