Artwork missing from Boston library found on library shelf

Two valuable artworks missing from Boston Public Library discovered on shelf a few meters away from their original position

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A pair of missing artworks worth $600,000 have been found weeks after they disappeared from the Boston Public Library, triggering a review of the 164-year-old institution's security and prompting its president to resign.

The Albrecht Durer engraving and Rembrandt etching, the loss of which brought on a scandal that occupied the front pages of Boston's newspapers for weeks, turned up on a library shelf, about 80 feet (24 metres) from where they should have been filed, the library said on Thursday.

"I was shocked to find the two prints, but it really was just luck of the draw," said Lauren Shott, a library staffer who had participated in the eight-week search through the library's 23-million-item collection. "Anyone of the team that's been looking for the Durer and Rembrandt could have found them."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Police Department and US Attorney's office had all joined the investigation for the Durer engraving of Adam and Eve, dating to 1504 and worth about $600,00 and the 1634 Rembrandt self-portrait, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.

The artwork was unearthed the day after library president Amy Ryan, dogged by weeks of charges that the library's inventory controls were faulty, tendered her resignation, saying she wanted "to allow the work of the Boston Public Library to continue without distraction."

Ryan, who joined the library eight years ago, still plans to leave her post on July 3, said spokeswoman Melina Schuler.

"Nothing has changed regarding her resignation," Schuler said.