Art dealer searching for $1.6-million painting he forgot in taxi
Oops. An art dealer in Paris may want to rethink his mode of transportation after accidentally forgetting a picture worth more than $1.6 million in the back of a taxi. The artwork, according to The Local, is by Argentina-born Italian sculptor and painter Lucio Fontana, who died in 1968. The piece is entitled "Concetto spaziale” and is part of a series of abstracts he made featuring the piercing of the canvas to create dimension using light.
According to local police, the unidentified art dealer was scheduled to meet with an art collector in Paris’ 11th district last Thursday with the piece. However, the dealer hailed a taxi and put the painting in the trunk of the vehicle, BBC reported. He reportedly became distracted by a call while in the car, and when he exited the vehicle, he forgot the piece and went on his way. After unsuccessfully attempting to locate the taxi himself two days later, the dealer filed a theft complaint with police. So far, there are no leads.
This isn’t the first piece of rare and valuable art to go missing. There are an estimated 350,000 stolen works of art in the world, according to the Art Loss Register, an international index of stolen works. After thieves realize they cannot sell the painting without getting caught, "The art goes underground to the black market and trades among criminals at about 5 to 10 percent of its true value,” Chris Marinello, general counsel for the Register, told ABC. “We've seen art being traded for drugs, weapons, involved in the international terrorism trade, traded for antiquities.” In total, the world's most wanted stolen paintings are valued at more than $1 billion.