Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Caravaggion Stolen

Caravaggio, 1573-1602, The Taking of Christ (or, The Kiss of Judas), Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art
The New York Times reported today that a painting by Caravaggio was stolen from the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, Ukraine. On Thursday morning of last week, museum staff found the painting had been cut off from its frame. The museum was closed on Wednesday, giving the thieves enough time, from Tuesday evening to the early hours of Thursday, to break in and leave with the 17th century masterpiece.
Artinfo.com reports "Police indicated that the thieves had entered through a window and, because they removed the pane of glass rather than smash it, did not set off the outdated alarm system. They reportedly escaped through the museum’s roof. Reports indicate that police had been urging the museum to update its alarm system, but that the idea was rejected on financial grounds."
For years it has been debated whether the work was a signature Caravaggio or a copy by one of the master's students. Another version, and perhaps the more popular of the two, survives at the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.

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