When a $200,000 painting went missing from Australia's National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the gallery wanted to be sure it did not falsely accuse a staff member of theft when the painting could simply have been misplaced. So it searched for Richard Parkes Bonington's Low Tide at Boulogne … for 12 years. The oil painting has only recently been reported stolen, the Telegraph reports.
The 1824 piece most likely went missing during 1999 renovations, when the gallery's 65,000 pieces were relocated. The council of trustees was informed in 2003 that the piece was, "in all likelihood," missing, and police were alerted in 2004. But the gallery wanted to try to find the painting, and searched for eight years before finally reporting the theft to the government last year—a fact which came to light recently thanks to a freedom of information request. (Read more stolen art stories.)