The famous painting by the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) who went missing for about 22 years, Portrait of a Lady, will be exposed in Gallery of Modern Art Ricci Oddi in Piacenza, Italy, starting November 28. The place is the same one where the painting “disappeared” in 1997.
The work will be exhibited prominently in the museum and will be protected by a security box, as informed by the directors of the exhibition on Thursday.
“The return home from Klimt is, in reality, a beginning of the journey, not the first show. It is the first event in which the painting will be presented alone, and shows the debt that we have to compensate with the city that adopted it”, said the president of Galeria Ricci Oddi, Massimo Ferrari, during the presentation.
After this first “solo” exhibition, which continues until March 28, 2021, the piece of art will be exhibited in four other stages until 2022, to celebrate the museum’s anniversary. Between March 28 and October 11, there will be a second exhibition to present the list of Klimt and other artists shown at the Gallery. The third will show the connection between the artist and Italy (11/10/21 to 28/03/22) and the last one will present Klimt as the greatest artist of the Vienna Secession (28/03/22 to 10/11/22).
The painting was considered one of the most sought after in the world after “disappearing” from Ricci Oddi Gallery. However, at the end of 2019, on December 10, a gardener who was maintaining the building discovered the painting hidden inside a trapdoor protected by a metal door. The work was on a wall, without the frame and in a plastic bag.
After extensive technical expertise, the Piacenza Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the authenticity of the work. The agents, who never found out who stole the piece, believe that the thieves hid the painting on the spot to look for it later, but because of the uproar caused by the theft, they gave up on returning.