Art experts have confirmed that a painting discovered hidden inside an Italian art gallery's walls last month is Gustav Klimt's "Portrait of a Lady," which was stolen from the gallery nearly 23 years ago.
The authentication of the painting announced Friday solved one of the art world's enduring mysteries - where did the missing work end up? - but left several questions unanswered, including who had taken it and whether it ever left the museum's property.
A gardener at the Ricci Oddi Modern Art Gallery in the northern city of Piacenza who was clearing away ivy noticed a small panel door on a wall outside and opened it. Inside the space, he found a plastic bag containing a painting that appeared to be the missing masterpiece.
"It's with no small emotion that I can tell you the work is authentic," Piacenza Prosecutor Ornella Chicca told reporters Friday while two police officers stood on either side of an easel bearing the recovered painting.
"Portrait of a Lady," which depicts a young woman sensually glancing over her shoulder against a dreamy moss green background, is a later work by Klimt, dating from 1916-17. It was reported missing in February 1997.
Since the gardener's discovery on Dec. 10, the canvas had been kept in a vault of a local branch of Italy's central bank while experts used infrared radiation and other non-invasive techniques to determine if it was the original "Portrait of a Lady."
Experts said the painting was in remarkably good condition. One of the few signs of damage was a scratch near the edge of the canvas that may have resulted "from a clumsy effort to remove the portrait from its frame," said Anna Selleri, an art restorer from the National Gallery in Bologna.
The experts who did the verification work found persuasive evidence in the work of their peers more than two decades ago.
While preparing for an exhibit shortly before "Portrait of a Lady" disappeared, an Italian art student noticed a similarity between the painting and another piece by Klimt. Intrigued by the student's theory, experts at the time discovered that Klimt painted "Portrait of a Lady" on top of an earlier portrait of a woman.
Those studying the work in recent weeks, with the aid of X-rays, saw the earlier portrait. Selleri said the radiation analysis revealed that while painting the later portrait, Klimt didn't redo much of the face, but used whitish pigment from the earlier version for the skin.
"Portrait of a Lady" was officially listed as missing on Feb. 22, 1997 but might have been snatched from a gallery wall a few days earlier, during the exhibit preparation work.
So who stole the painting? Chicca said police were studying some traces of organic material on the recovered canvas in hopes they might provide leads.
Asked if authorities knew if the piece had ever left the gallery's grounds, investigators said that's something else they hope to find out.
Bangladeshi filmmaker Monjurul Islam Megh has been included as a member of an international jury of the 6th Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF) 2020.
The RIFF will be held from January 18 to 22 at Jaipur, Rajasthan.
The international jury team includes French actress and producer Marianne Borgo, actor and moderator in film festivals Charles Thomson, writer, researcher, journalist, fillmmaker from Bangladesh Monjurul Islam Megh, internationally acclaimed film maker from Iran Hassan Nazer.
The 6th RIFF will be organised by RIFF Film Club.
Two films from Bangladesh are selected for competition. ‘Fagun Haway’ directed by Tauquir Ahmed was selected for feature film competition and ‘Mala Bhabi’ directed by Mejanur Rahman Labu in the short film category.
Bangladesh High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria will participate in the third ‘Asian Film Festival’ to be held at Caesar Hall, Abuja from January 23-26.
Ontorjatra, directed by Tareque Masud and Catherine Masud, will be screened at the upcoming film festival where a total of eight Asian countries are participating.
Bangladesh also participated at the second Asian Film Festival in 2019 and “Rina Brown,” a film based on the War of Liberation was screened which earned wide appreciation, said the High Commission.
The High Commission in Abuja invited all foreign friends and expatriate Bangladesh nationals in Nigeria to watch the film - Ontorjatra with English sub-titles on the opening day – January 23 at 5:30pm.
Upon its release on 2006, the film achieved critical and commercial success.
Simon Beck carefully plots his course before shuffling through a windswept snowfield high in the Rocky Mountains.
Using a compass, snowshoes and his background as a cartographer and competitive orienteer, the 61-year-old British artist and a handful of volunteers recently tromped across a frozen reservoir near the ski resort town of Silverthorne, west of Denver, to create a massive, geometrical design on a fresh canvas of snow.
The result after more than a dozen hours of labor in freezing weather and under an unrelenting sun was a spectacular spiral pattern the length of about two soccer fields.
"I hope it makes people more aware of the snow and the environment and the beauty of it and how we need snow," Beck said after completing the drawing. "And I think it's a really beautiful and unique art form."
Beck finished his day with high fives from his volunteers and congratulations from people who gathered on a nearby hillside to watch his progress.
But it hasn't always gone this smoothly. It's never clear how many workers will show up. And if bad weather rolls in, an intricate piece of art can quickly disappear.
"It's very frustrating when you plod around for hours and hours and hours and then the wind blows it away before you've finished it," he said.
Beck started making fractal drawings in snow in 2004 outside his winter home at France's Les Arcs ski resort when he trampled out a five-pointed star spanning more than 300 feet (91 meters) "just for a bit of fun." He didn't realize how good it looked until he rode a ski lift the next day and saw it from above.
"Snow drawing, which to me seems like a fairly obvious idea, was not something anyone else had ever done as far as I could tell, and I was really surprised by that," he said.
Beck has completed about 330 snow drawings and 120 in sand, and has set a goal of 1,000 total drawings by the time he's 80. His drawings are commissioned around the world, he has published a book, and he has attracted a dedicated fan base.
Carolyn Tiller, who has been following Beck's career for three or four years, watched his progress on the reservoir and delivered him and his crew cookies and spiked cocoa.
The 62-year-old retired gemologist said Beck's art reminds her of her childhood playing with a Spirograph, the classic toy that makes it easy to create detailed geometric drawings.
"I also really appreciate someone who can make something by one step after another step after another step," said Tiller, who lives across the street from the reservoir. "They say the greatest journeys start with one step, and that's a perfect example."
People’s Theatre Association (PTA) in cooperation with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) held a cleanliness campaign on the Central Shaheed Minar premises on Monday.
Liaquat Ali Lucky, founder of PTA and Director General of BSA, inaugurated the ‘Shaheed Minar Cleanliness Campaign’ where over 500 children from different schools and cultural organisations took part.
The campaign began with the observance of a one-minute silence as a mark of respects to the martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement and the singing of the national anthem.
Later, PTA and BSA members staged a cultural programme where they performed songs, including ‘Amar Bhaiyer Rokte Rangano’ and two group songs written and composed by Lucky.
Along with acrobatic performances, the cultural session also featured group dance performances with three songs, including ‘Dhannya Mujib Dhannya’.
After the cultural performances, all the participants, led by Ali Lucky and other officials of PTA and BSA, swept the Shaheed Minar premises and surrounding areas.
The event concluded with an oath to keep the Shaheed Minar neat and clean.