Valuable Paining Returns to Riga Art Museum
Stolen 20 years ago from the National Museum of Art, the Holy Family painting of the 19th century artist Alexander Heibels, worth ca. 20 000 LVL, has returned to its former place. However, it is not yet certain if the museum will be able to keep it.
Sources report that the painting was kept hidden by a collector who was previously kept suspect of trading stolen pieces of art, but apparently bought 'Holy family" painting in good faith. After it went missing from the museum in 1992, the police were unable to locate it and closed the case after 10 years. In October 2012, when the art merchant had submitted it for evaluation, the person in charge called her associate from the National Museum of Art, who then recognized the lost painting.
The renovation of the picture has already started, but the the law allows for the former owner to request its return. Appropriate request has not yet been filed.
Unfortunately, paintings are regularly stolen from national museums in Latvia. The National Museum of Art itself has still not recovered yet another painting and some sculpture. Works of art are being kept under supervision by museum workers and surveillance cameras, but exhibits are not connected to alarms. Neither are they evaluated nor insured.