Friday, January 6, 2012
Not always what starts well ends the same way, especially for the two unmasked thieves who in the morning of 24 September 2009, assaulted the museum located at Esseghem 135 in Brussels in Magritte's former home, where he lived with his wife from 1930 to 1954, and recurring to gunpoint fled with Magritte's 60cm by 80cm painting by foot and then got into a car.
Painted in 1948 and depicting Magritte's wife Georgette, naked with a conch over her belly and a seascape in the background, the painting was too well-known to be sold in the black market and the thieves weren't able to find a complice to buy it.
According to the Belgian press, the art expert Janpiet Callens was contacted anonymously about two years ago, with the purpose of handing the work to him to later be returned to the authorities, and so it happened
Fortunately, "Olympia" was handed back in excellent condition.
It was mentioned in the daily ‘De Morgen’ that a €75,000 ransom was paid by the insurer, while the daily ‘De Standaard’ reported that judicial authorities have confirmed that money changed hands.
The painting has an estimated value of near 3 million Euro.