$340K Painting Found in Dumpster

Work by French surrealist Yves Tanguy had gone missing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 12, 2020 4:40 PM CST
$340K Painting Found in Dumpster
In this photo released by the police department in Duesseldorf on Thursday Dec. 10, 2020, showing Chief Detective Michael Dietz holding a painting from French artist Yves Tanguy.   (Polizei Duesseldorf via AP)

A surrealist painting worth more than a quarter million dollars that was forgotten by a businessman at Duesseldorf's airport has been recovered from a nearby recycling dumpster, police said Thursday, per the AP. The businessman, whose identity was not given, accidentally left behind the painting by French surrealist Yves Tanguy at a check-in counter as he boarded a flight from Duesseldorf to Tel Aviv on Nov. 27. By the time he landed in Israel and contacted Duesseldorf police, the $340,000 work, which had been wrapped in cardboard, had disappeared.

Despite multiple emails with details about the 16 x 24 inch painting, authorities could not locate the artwork, police spokesman Andre Hartwig said. It was only after the businessman's nephew traveled to the airport from neighboring Belgium and talked with police directly with more information that an inspector was able to trace the painting to a paper-recycling dumpster used by the airport's cleaning company. "This was definitely one of our happiest stories this year," Hartwig said. "It was real detective work." (More painting stories.)

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