Van Dyck painting found in Istanbul
ISTANBULA lost panting by famous Dutch artist Anthony van Dyck has been found in Istanbul after two businessmen who attempted to sell the painting were caught in the act.
The Istanbul Directorate of Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime was informed the van Dyck painting was stolen from a European country and brought to Istanbul after passing through Russia and Georgia. The police, posing as prospective buyers, got in touch with two textile businessmen, according to daily Vatan, and agreed to buy the painting for 14 million Turkish Liras.
The businessmen asked the police to rent two rooms in a luxurious hotel in Istanbul’s Topkapı neighborhood. The police rented the rooms and invited them there. And as soon as the businessmen came to the room, the operation started and the businessmen, identified as A.S. and I.K., were taken into custody.
They said they had bought the painting in Georgia from a robbery gang for $200,000.
An initial examination made by experts from the Painting and Sculpture Museum identified the painting as an original, however a final report will be made by an expert team from the Mimar Sinan University Fine Arts Faculty.
Van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders (present-day Belgium). He also painted biblical and mythological subjects, displayed outstanding ability as a draughtsman and was an important innovator in watercolor and etching.