Rembrandt may have been involved in the art robbery at Friedenstein Palace

The Dutch portrait stolen 42 years ago in the largest art robbery in East German history may be Rembrandt, according to a new report.

Painting, an old man, or An old man, was one of five works stolen from Friedenstein Palace in Gotha, according to the Sunday Times of London.

The work, which was on display in Gotha last month, was for years considered a copy of another work dated 1632 and signed by the Dutch master himself.

Curator Timo Trümper told the magazine that a more detailed analysis of the restoration suggests that it may have preceded a painting from 1632 that is on display at Harvard Art Museums.

“The style of our paintings is not very in control. It was created in a free and virtuoso way, and it led to the first doubts about the theory that it is a copy, ”Trümper told the magazine. “In addition, we noticed pentiments, changes made during the painting process that are on the lower layers and that are not visible to the eye and that show changes around the beard and clothes. That precludes it from being a copy. “

The five paintings totaled about $ 5.4 million.

Painting, an old man, or An old man, was one of five works stolen from Friedenstein Palace in Gotha, Germany.
photo union through Getty Images

They were stolen one harsh night in December 1979 – a burglar who climbed nearly 32 feet along a wall before colliding through a window.

The theft led to an investigation by Stas, the infamous secret police of the Communist German Democratic Republic.

German Spiegel magazine in 2020 identified train driver Rudi Bernhardt as a potential thief.

Bernhardt is suspected of smuggling the works into West Germany and handing them over to his friends. Their heirs offered paintings to the head of Gotha, which led to their return.

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