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Painting Stolen From Museum in 2009 Just Found on Bus

The Free Press WV

A 141-year-old painting worth nearly $1 million turned up on a bus outside of Paris this month—over eight years after being stolen from a museum, the New York Times reports. According to the BBC, The Chorus Singers by Edward Degas, a French Impressionist master, was stolen from a museum in Marseille in December 2009 while on loan from Paris’ Musée d’Orsay. There was no sign of a break-in at the museum, and a museum guard was released by police after a brief detention. “We had all the reasons to be worried about its fate,“ the head of the Musée d’Orsay says.

On Feb. 16 customs officers were conducting a random search of a bus’ luggage compartment at a highway stop outside Paris—long-distance buses are used by criminals to transport drugs—when they found The Chorus Singers in a suitcase. None of the passengers claimed ownership of the suitcase, and no arrests were made. Reuters reports it’s as yet unclear why the painting was on the bus or who left in there. The Musée d’Orsay confirmed its authenticity and states it’s “delighted” about the return of the painting, which did not appear damaged. The French culture minister says the discovery of The Chorus Singers corrects what had been a “heavy loss for French Impressionist heritage.“

Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’

The Free Press WV

When Leonardo da Vinci’s long-lost painting, “Salvator Mundi” (“Savior of the World”) shattered records by selling for $450.3 million at auction in mid-November, its fate remained as mysterious as its unknown buyer. But both were revealed on Wednesday.

Museumgoers will be able to view the painting at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a United Arab Emirates franchise of the Paris museum, Christie’s Auction House told Bloomberg. The museum appeared to confirm this, tweeting on Wednesday that, “Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi.“ It is unclear at this time when the painting will be displayed.

According to the New York Times, the painting’s buyer was not the museum but an outside party: one Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, a “little-known” Saudi Arabian prince with no history as an art collector.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened on Nov. 11, has been one of the “most aggressive buyers on the global art market over the last decade,“ according to Bloomberg.

These acquisitions, including that of “Salvator Mundi,“ are probably part of a dedicated effort to raise the global cultural profile of the UAE.

Prince Bader’s purchase of the painting is surprising for a number of reasons, as the New York Times noted.

First, the painting portrays Jesus, whom many Muslims believe to be a prophet. Most who practice Islam - the state religion of Saudi Arabia - shun visual portrayals of its prophets.

When he placed the required $100 million to participate in the Christie’s auction, lawyers from the auction house asked how he acquired the money, according to documents obtained by the Times.

He reportedly responded that it came from real estate and that he was one of 5,000 princes, saying nothing more.

Finally, the splashy purchase came just as Saudi Arabia’s 32-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was leading a “sweeping crackdown against corruption and self-enrichment” among the country’s elite, as the Times noted.

“Salvator Mundi,“ which depicts Jesus holding a crystal orb in his left hand and raising his right in blessing, is one of some 16 known surviving works painted by da Vinci. While most are scattered around the world, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will now have two of these paintings. It displays “La Belle Ferronnière,“ which is on loan from the Louvre in Paris, according to Bloomberg.

The painting disappeared several times over the course of history, most recently in 1958 when it was sold alongside the rest of the Cook Collection in London. By then, though, the painting’s origin had been obscured due to overpainting and it was credited to da Vinci’s follower Bernardino Luini. It sold for only 45 pounds or about $125 today, CNN reported.

New York-based art collector and da Vinci expert Robert Simon and art dealer Alexander Parish found the painting in Louisiana in 2005 and purchased it for $10,000.

It then underwent a six-year restoration and verification process.

In 2013, a consortium of dealers including Simon, Parish and Warren Adelson sold “Salvator Mundi” for $80 million to a company owned by a Swiss businessman and art dealer Yves Bouvier, Bloomberg reported. Bouvier, in turn, sold it to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million in 2014.

Rybolovlev owned the painting until Nov. 15, when Prince Bader made it the world’s most expensive painting by shelling out $450,312,500 for it. Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger” (“Women of Algiers”) held the previous record of $179,364,992.

Submissions Being Accepted for First Trillium Art Exhibit

The Free Press WV

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the community are invited to submit artwork to Glenville State College’s first Trillium Art Exhibit.

The exhibit is open to anyone who wishes to submit entries of their own artwork.

“The Trillium strives to be GSC’s showcase for the substantial creative talent of our students, faculty, staff, and community. Coordinating our first art show with the Department of Fine Arts will help us fulfill that important mission,” said Dr. Jonathan Minton, who serves as an advisor for the Trillium.

Each person may submit up to three entries. Submissions will also be considered for inclusion in the Trillium, but space is limited.

Digital art entries must be submitted as png, bmp, or jpeg file attachments via-email to .

Artwork can also be dropped off in the Student Support Services office, which is located in Goodwin Hall Suite 139.

Submissions made in person should be done on Monday and Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to Noon or on Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Entries will be accepted until Friday, November 17.

For more information about the Trillium Art Exhibit, call 304.462.6322.

Gallery Exhibit Featuring Early Appalachian Photography to Open at GSC

Selections from the Glenville State College Archive will be on display for a gallery exhibit during Homecoming week. The theme of the exhibit will focus on early Appalachian photography and will include several prints from glass negatives, equipment used during the process, and even some of the original glass negatives themselves. The show will feature four different collections: the Byron Turner Glass Negative Collection, the Early Gilmer County Collection, the Gainer Family Glass Negative Collection, and the Pickle Street Glass Negative Collection.

The Free Press WV
One of the photos included in the Early Appalachian Photography Exhibit
reproduced from a glass negative from the Gainer family collection


An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Tuesday, October 17 between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in the GSC Fine Arts Center Gallery. The show will be open the remainder of Homecoming Week from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily and prior to the Bluegrass concert on Saturday, October 21 between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Beyond Homecoming Week, the gallery is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The gallery is also open one hour prior to most musical performances in the Fine Arts Center.

The Byron Turner Glass Negative Collection was preserved by Glenville State College’s former chemistry instructor, Byron Turner. Turner used the glass negatives as a project in his classes to demonstrate what chemicals were used to make the glass negatives and preserve the picture. The Early Gilmer County Collection was found in the Archives of Glenville State College. It dates back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The Gainer family collection contains donated prints from glass negatives provided by the Gainer family. The pictures were taken by Lloyd Gainer and are from around 1902. The pictures were preserved by West Virginia State Folk Festival founder and 1924 Glenville Normal School graduate Patrick Gainer. The Pickle Street glass negative collection was brought in from the auction house on Pickle Street in Lewis County, West Virginia. The negatives were found in an old barn and later donated to GSC.

“This gallery exhibit will show you what was important to past generations in Appalachia through photography. I hope that the cultural perspective provided gives attendees a better understanding of central West Virginia. It also provides you with more of an appreciation as to what people had to go through and how challenging it was just to take a picture,” said GSC Librarian and Archivist Jason Gum.

During the opening reception, there will also be a book signing for GSC’s recent history book, Preserving and Responding. Gum and the college’s Public Relations Specialist, Dustin Crutchfield, authored this work.

The exhibit will be on display in the Fine Arts Center Gallery through Friday, November 03.

For more information about the gallery exhibit or the book signing, call 304.462.6163.

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