Matisse Painting The Garden Found By Art Sleuth

A Matisse painting worth £600,000 will be returned to a museum in Sweden this week, 25 years after it was stolen.

Art detective Chris Marinello, who has recovered £160m of stolen art work in the past two decades, located Matisse’s The Garden in Essex earlier this month.

It will now be returned to the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm.

In the last year alone, there has been a 10% rise in thefts of paintings and antiques.

The worldwide art black market is worth over £4bn.

There are 51,000 lost or missing art pieces in the UK according to the Lost Arts Register.

Mr Marinello told Sky News that waiting the thieves out is the best strategy.

He said: “Eventually they are going to try and sell them, there is nothing you can do with stolen art.

“It is essentially worthless, these pieces do find their way on to the market place and that’s when we pounce.”

For art galleries security has become paramount.

Last year thieves raided Rotterdam museum and walked off with works from the likes of Picasso, Monet, Gauguin and Matisse’s potentially worth hundreds of millions.

Richard Reed from Hiscox insurance says art galleries have to strike a fine balance.

He said: “It is their primary business to be open to the public and make their works accessible.

“At the same time they have a duty to protect them and it’s a knife edge they have to walk.”

Matisse’s The Garden is due to be returned to Sweden in the next few days before a formal exhibit being planned in the spring.