The idyllic Boy in a Red Waistcoat by Cézanne appears strangely incongruous beside armed guards. But when you’re worth over $100 million and have just had your authenticity verified, you know you’re kind of a big deal in the post-impressionist world.
And if you think our young waistcoated whippersnapper looks rather downhearted, it is unsurprising, as he has just spent four years in the hands of art thieves, and has only just been recovered by Serbian police forces.
In 2008, three masked robbers pinched the valuable painting at gunpoint from a Swiss museum, along with three other world-revered canvases by Monet, Van Gogh and Degas, the latter of which is still missing. This was one of the most notorious art heists of the century.
The painting can now return to the E.G. Buehrle Collection in Zurich, and was recovered alongside 1.5 million euros in cash, four vehicles, and ammunition in what was quaintly dubbed Operation Waistcoat.