Famous Kjarval Painting Stolen in Broad Daylight Skip to content

Famous Kjarval Painting Stolen in Broad Daylight

A young couple stole a famous painting by one of Iceland’s most celebrated artists, Jóhannes S. Kjarval, from an exhibition at Reykjavík Art Museum – Kjarvalsstadir in broad daylight on Saturday afternoon. The painting has been returned to the museum undamaged.

From Kjarvalsstadir. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

“It was an unfortunate coincidence that the exhibition to which the painting belonged opened that same day,” the museum’s director Hafthór Yngvason told Morgunbladid, explaining that some of the paintings hadn’t been fastened to the wall yet.

A security guard noticed the thieves and called police immediately after realizing that the painting “Á Hulduströnd” was missing. The couple was arrested in their home shortly afterwards—police discovered their identity with the aid of the museum’s security cameras.

Yngvason said “Á Hulduströnd” is a well-known painting so that it would have been unthinkable to sell it. According to Fréttabladid, it is worth ISK 7 million (USD 56,000, EUR 41,000).

Yngvason said that work procedure at Kjarvalsstadir and other museums will be reviewed to prevent other incidents like this.

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