Gallery returns France's 'stolen' masterpiece
Thursday 10 November 2011
France has offered to reach an amicable settlement with a British art dealer over a 17th-century masterpiece which was been missing, believed stolen, for two centuries.
Earlier this week, the French culture ministry placed an export ban on the Nicolas Tournier painting after it was exhibited at a Paris art fair by a leading London gallery. The ministry said that the canvas, valued at €657,000 (£560,000), had been stolen from a museum in Toulouse in 1818 and remained the "inalienable" property of the French state.
Mark Weiss, of the Weiss Gallery in Jermyn Street, London, has now received a letter from the culture ministry offering to negotiate "compensation" if the painting remains in France. Mr Weiss said yesterday that he was "satisfied" with the "correct" tone of the letter.
"We have allowed the French government to take possession of the painting," he told The Independent. "They now accept that we have always acted in good faith and with complete transparency."
The painting, Le Portement de Croix (the carrying of the cross) turned up in Florence in 2009 after being missing for almost two centuries. Paris says the painting was stolen in 1818.
Mr Weiss says there is no proof of theft. In any case, he says he bought the canvas last year in good faith for €400,000 from a French dealer when its authenticity was still questioned by the French state. He said he was happy to enter talks on "compensation" so the painting could return to the museum in Toulouse.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Poldark star Heida Reed says show is not that racy: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
Historian: ‘Disney was right to show King John as a villain' in Robin Hood
Glastonbury 2015: Coldplay will not headline but Florence Welch might play, says Emily Eavis
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut