A WORK of art attributed to the artist Rembrandt which was stolen from a French museum in 1999, has been rediscovered in Nice.
Two men, one aged 44 and the other 51, have been arrested after trying to sell the “Child with a Soap Bubble” artwork, which has been valued at about €4m. It features a young boy with dark brown hair, wearing a golden necklace and holding a soap bubble.
It was stolen from a museum in Draguignan on Bastille Day in 1999.
The recovery of the painting is a coup for l’Office central de lutte contre le trafic des biens culturels (OCBC), which recovered a Picasso stolen by one of the artist’s granddaughters in Paris in 2007, and - a year later - found impressionist works taken from the Museum of Fine Arts in Nice during an armed raid.
Rembrandt is the most popular of the “old masters” with thieves. The London-based Art Loss Register has 337 paintings attributed to him on its database of stolen art. The most famous work of his on the register is the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, which was stolen - along with other Rembrandts and works by Vermeer and Manet - from the Gardner Museum in Boston, America, in 1999.
Whether Child with a Soap Bubble is a genuine Rembrandt is still to be confirmed. There is speculation it could be the work of one of his students.