Swiss museum offers reward for missing paintings

Kunsthaus Zurich, one of Switzerland’s top art museums, is offering a 10,000 Swiss franc ($11,100) reward for information that could help it track down two missing paintings, police said Tuesday.

The museum has lost trace of two small artworks: one by Flemish painter Robert van den Hoecke and the other by Dutch Golden Age artist Dirck de Bray.

“Kunsthaus Zurich has been missing two valuable paintings since the end of December 2022. According to initial investigations by the Zurich cantonal police, a theft has taken place,” the force said in a statement.

“Kunsthaus Zurich is offering a reward of up to 10,000 Swiss francs for information that leads to the investigation of the crime or the recovery of the paintings.”

Anyone with information on the perpetrators or the whereabouts of the paintings has been asked to contact the police.

The museum took down more than 700 works for cleaning and restoration after a fire broke out in August 2022.

But no trace of these two paintings could later be found, with police saying they were stolen between September 21 and December 22.

The two works are both painted on oak, framed and covered with glass.

They have been listed in the Art Loss Register, the world’s largest database of lost and stolen art.

Established in London in 1990, the register currently lists more than 700,000 items.

With nearly 4,000 paintings and sculptures and 95,000 graphic works, Kunsthaus Zurich has one of the most important art collections in Switzerland, which ranges from the 13th century to the present day.

About 1,000 works are on permanent display.

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© Agence France-Presse

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