Confession in Theft of Alleged Rembrandt 15 Years Later

Child With a Soap Bubble, a recently recovered stolen painting attributed to Rembrandt.

A 43-year-old man from Lot-et-Garonne in southwest France has confessed to the 1999 theft of Child With a Soap Bubble, a painting contentiously attributed to Rembrandt, according to Agence France Press. artnet News reported the work’s recovery by French police last week.

The painting is from the Municipal Museum of Draguignan, but may not actually be by the hand of the master. The crime was committed during Bastille Day festivities, and although the museum alarm system was triggered, police failed to respond in time to stop the burglary.

The alleged thief turned himself into police on the advice of a lawyer after the painting’s recovery. He claims to have broken into the museum from the adjacent library, and to have kept the painting in his home up until two weeks ago. In a statement, his lawyer described him as a family man who had been “cheated,” but declined to explain further.

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