A Rembrandt returns to French church and is ‘100% theft proof’: NOS
A painting by Rembrandt that graced the wall of a small church in the south of France virtually unprotected for two centuries is now ‘100% theft proof’, broadcaster NOS reported.
The work, Christ on the cross, was attributed to Rembrandt in 1959 when the initials RHL (Rembrandt Harmenszoon Rembrandt) and the date, 1631, were discovered.
The painting, thought to be worth several million euros, was originally bought by a French army officer in 1804 who gave it to the church of his native village Le Mas d’Agenais, south east of Bordeaux. There it continued to be on display, with practically no safety measures in place, and attracting little attention for the next 200 years.
‘There was no security for the longest time,’ council spokesman Arnaud Petit told the broadcaster. ‘And then, until 2002, we had a primitive sort of protection, with a camera and a wooden casing with glass but it was wonky and the glass was falling out,’ Petit said.
In 2016 the painting was moved to the vaults of the cathedral of Bordeaux for security reasons and to allow for a proper casing to be made. That has now been done and the painting has been returned to its original site after a six year absence.
‘The painting was known among connoisseurs of Rembrandt,’ David de Witt, curator at the Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam, told the broadcaster. ‘As far as I know this is the only Rembrandt not in a museum or in the hands of a private collector.’
After 200 years our Rembrandt is now theft proof,’ Petit said. ‘The casing is as strong as a safe and fire proof. Believe me, the Rembrandt wouldn’t have returned if it wasn’t 100% safe.’
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation