An engraving by Albrecht Dürer and an etching by Rembrandt van Rijn were reported as missing from the Boston Public Library.
In a statement released May 20, Boston Public Library President Amy E. Ryan said the works of art were discovered to be missing from the library’s print collection.
“It is our hope that these two significant pieces have simply been misfiled,” she said in the statement.
She says the curators and department staff are conducting a search of the 200,000-plus collection of prints and drawing. The library is working with the Boston Police Department (BPD) to determine if the missing works are the result of a theft.
“We are continuing to work closely with BPD during their investigation and are conducting an independent security review, and an item by item audit of our print collection,” Ryan said.
WCVB Boston reports that the Dürer engraving, “Adam and Eve,” was made in 1504 and is valued at $600,000. The Rembrandt etching, “Self Portrait with Plumed Cap and Lowered Sabre,” was made in 1634 and is valued at $20,000.
According to the library’s statement, Boston police have been actively involved since April 15 when Ryan notified them about the missing artwork. In the Boston Globe, police have said they are looking at the possibility of the case being an inside job. Police Commissioner William B. Evans says the works may have been missing for up to a year.
In the meanwhile, the library is determining how to improve its procedures for allowing the public to view such valuable items.
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