Our world’s new normal has long changed the way we view art now. Far from making it more difficult, the art world is now more open to all corners of the world than before. Sure there is no replacement for seeing art, especially age-old paintings in person. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still appreciate things in a different way.
Samsung has teamed up with art crimes expert, Dr Noah Charney, to put together a very special virtual exhibition. The artworks up for display tell more than just the story on their canvases.
All twelve works are pieces you may never get to see in an actual museum no matter the virus or not because all these works have been missing for years. Slipped through the cracks of art theft the exhibition features works of famed artists such as Claude Monet, Barbora Kysilkova and Paul Cézanne.
At the heart of this exhibition is a message and an aim; to raise public awareness about the illicit traffic of cultural artefacts. The FBI estimates that less than 10% of stolen artworks are ever recovered by authorities. Samsung is hoping that this exhibition will bring people around the world together to work towards finding lost works such as the ones featured.
Some paintings in the Missing Masterpieces exhibition have disappeared in ways that would be worthy of their very own big-screen adaptation.
Paul Cézanne’s View of Auvers-sur-Oise, for example, once hung in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Thieves took advantage of 1999’s major New Year’s festivities to scale the scaffolding on an adjacent building, before entering the British museum through a skylight and stealing the painting. The thieves used a smoke bomb to block the museum’s motion sensors.
Emma & Chloé by Barbora Kysilkova on the other hand was stolen in broad daylight from an art gallery in Oslo, Norway. The sneaky cat burglars took their time meticulously removing 200 nails that were holding the canvas to its frame.
They made off into the night with the canvas never once tripping the alarms. It was only later that the Security camera footage led to the arrest of the thieves, but the portrait’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Although Missing Masterpieces accompanies the launch of a new range of Samsung HD TVs, art crime expert and founder of The Association for Research into Crimes Against Art (ARCA), Dr Charney, hopes that the exhibition will unearth new clues as to the whereabouts of these missing artworks.
“Before you get to work on a puzzle, you want to gather all the pieces, right? It’s the same with a crime or a mysterious loss. From contradictory media reports to speculation in Reddit feeds — the clues are out there, but the volume of information can be overwhelming. This is where technology and social media can help by bringing people together to assist the search. It’s not unheard of for an innocuous tip posted online to be the key that unlocks a case,” the expert explains.
While the traffic of cultural artefacts has been flourishing on the internet for years, the novel coronavirus pandemic has affected the surveillance of archaeological sites and cultural institutions, leaving them more vulnerable to theft.
Vincent van Gogh’s painting, The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring was stolen in the Netherlands in March, for example, while the Singer Laren Museum was closed to stop the spread of the virus.
Check out the digital exhibition here.
Source: AFP Relax News
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