Stolen Medardo Rosso Masterpiece Found in Museum Locker

Medardo Rosso, Bambino Malato (Sickly Child) (1893-95)
Photo: Galleria d'Arte Moderna via ArtBlat

Yesterday we reported that a bronze sculpture by Medardo Rosso had been stolen from Rome’s Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (see “Rare Masterpiece Stolen from Rome Museum”). In a bizarre turn of events, the sculpture has subsequently been found, in the museum, inside a storage locker for public use near the entrance.

The news was first reported by Corriere della Sera, which informed that the artwork—a rare masterpiece by Rosso, entitled Bambino Malato (1893-95)—was located by the police yesterday afternoon.

Investigators claim that the lockers had been carefully inspected after the theft took place last Friday afternoon. So they are working with the hypothesis that the thief had a change of heart and returned the sculpture at a later time.

Officials are hoping that the return of the piece was recorded on the CCTV system installed across the museum and that the perpetrator can be identified in due course.

The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna has already faced serious criticism about its malfunctioning security systems, prompted by the theft of two Vincent van Gogh paintings and one by Paul Cézanne back in 1998. Both paintings were retrieved at a later time.

But the fact that a thief was able to both leave and then re-enter the museum carrying the precious artwork without being noticed and searched, will surely trigger further questions as to how successful the security protocols implemented at the Rome museum really are.


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