Home News Norwegian police recover stolen Renaissance painting

Norwegian police recover stolen Renaissance painting

Published on 13/03/2009

Oslo -- Norwegian police said Wednesday they had found a valuable Renaissance painting stolen from a church in the southern town of Larvik at the weekend and had arrested one person linked to the theft.

The painting, Let the little children come unto me by German Renaissance artist Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), was recovered from a car in eastern Norway, Larvik police told reporters, according to the NTB news agency.

The artwork, which is estimated to be worth up to 2.8 million dollars (2.2 million euros), was found following the arrest of a man in his 50s suspected of involvement in the robbery.

"The person in question contributed to the discovery of the painting. We cannot rule out more arrests," local police inspector Magnar Pedersen was quoted as saying at the press conference.

He said it remained unclear if the painting, which was snatched early Sunday when robbers climbed a ladder and broke a window at the Larvik church south of Oslo, had been damaged.

The ease with which the thieves made off with the painting gave rise to criticism of lacking measures to protect works of art displayed in Norwegian religious establishments.

The Larvik church was equipped with an alarm, but the artwork itself, a painting on wood depicting Jesus surrounded by children, was not protected.

The painting has hung in the Larvik church since it was built in 1677.