• gerard van weyenbergh

Stolen Seurat painting back in the Museum in France.

Stolen in 2018, found in Ukraine in 2019, the pointillist painting has finally been returned to the Nancy museum.

The Port of La Rochelle by Paul Signac

© Nancy Museum of Fine Arts

The Port of La Rochelle (1915) by Paul Signac, stolen from the Museum of Fine Arts in Nancy in May 2018 and found in Ukraine in April 2019, has just been brought back safely. The canvas (worth € 1.5 million) had been cut from its frame and then taken from the museum in Place Stanislas, without signs of tampering. The thoroughness and professionalism of this theft evoke the methods of organized crime.

And as very often in cases of organized crime, the network extends internationally. The work was found in Ukraine a year later, as part of an investigation into the murder of a jeweler. One of the three men arrested for this murder was found in possession of the Signac painting by the Ukrainian authorities.

After the legal and administrative formalities involved in the authentication of the work and the collaboration between the two countries' police forces, the Port of La Rochelle was able to return to France only a few days ago.

Still under seal, the painting cannot be exhibited for the moment.

The Port of La Rochelle (1915), a work by the post-impressionist artist Paul Signac (1863-1935), a pioneer, with Seurat, of pointillism, had been donated in 1965 by a private collector to the Musée des beaux-arts de Nancy. © Le Journal des Arts