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Friday, 13 December 2013 18:04

The Getty’s Curator of Paintings to Retire

Scott Schaefer, the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Senior Curator of Paintings, will retire on January 21, 2014. Schaefer joined the Getty in 1999 after stints at Sotheby’s, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Schaefer, who helmed the Getty’s Paintings department for four years, helped the museum acquire a total of 70 paintings and pastels and five sculptures. Among the most important recent acquisitions are the Getty’s first paintings by Paul Gauguin, J.M.W. Turner’s Modern Rome, and a rare self-portrait by Rembrandt.

Timothy Potts, the Getty’s director, said, “Through his acquisitions, Scott has made an impact on every one of the Museum’s paintings galleries and, in particular, transformed our eighteenth-century French collection. We will miss his discerning eye, keen intelligence and above all his unswerving commitment to the Museum.”

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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 18:10

Art Thief Threatens to Sue Kunsthal Museum

Radu Dogaru, the Romanian man who admitted to stealing $24 million worth of art from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, threatened to sue the institution for making the robbery too easy. Dogaru is one of six Romanians on trial for last year’s heist, which shook the art world.

On Tuesday, October 22, Dogaru told the court, “I could not imagine that a museum would exhibit such valuable works with so little security.“ Dogaru’s lawyer, Catalin Dancu, claims that the Kunsthal could be found guilty of negligence since their security system failed, allowing the thieves to make off with the artworks.

Last October, Dogaru and his accomplices made off with Pablo Picasso’s Tete d’Arlequin, Claude Monet’s Waterloo Bridge, London and Charing Cross Bridge, London, Henri Matisse’s La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune, Paul Gauguin’s Femme devant une fenetre ouverte, dite la Fiancee, Meyer de Haan’s Autoportrait, and Lucian Freud’s Woman with Eyes Closed. Following the heist, rumors began to circulate that Dogaru’s mother, Olga, had incinerated the stolen paintings in her stove in an attempt to protect her son. Olga Dogaru later retracted her statement although fragments of oil paintings were found in the ashes in her stove. On Tuesday, Dogaru told the court that, “the paintings were certainly not destroyed. I don’t know where they are but I believe they have been sold.” A separate investigation into the possible destruction of the artwork is underway.

Doguru’s next hearing is due on November 19. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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