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A business heist worth around $150,000 finally solved after 25 years

A business heist worth around $150,000 finally solved after 25 years

Two works by legendary Quebec painters Jean-Paul Reubel and Paul Emile Bourdouas, worth approximately $150,000, have finally been found and stolen 25 years ago.

The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) was contacted in 2019 by a law firm that wanted to certify two paintings of great value to their clients who had just acquired them.

However, checks showed that the artwork had been stolen in 1997, in the studio of Jean-Paul Reubel’s home, located at the water’s edge in Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson, in the Laurentians.

Plumage d'or is a work by Riopelle also found 25 years later.

photo courtesy

Plumage d’or is a work by Riopelle also found 25 years later.

Thus, the county police opened an investigation. A file in which the charge of concealment against the collector was filed was submitted to the Director of the Criminal and Criminal Prosecution Office (DPCP) the following year.

After the analysis, DPCP felt we could not proceed, forcing SQ to close the investigation. Buyers of stolen paintings download free of charge.

“It doesn’t surprise me because historically, it’s very rare for there to be accusations in this kind of issue, it’s very complex in the art world,” said Yseult Riopelle, a girl painter who died in 2002.

Jean Paul Reubel died in 2002.

archive photo

Jean Paul Reubel died in 2002.

of its treasures

During the theft, many works were privately stolen Altar of the polytheistsoil on canvas painted by Paul-Emile Bourdouas in 1946. According to his catalog, the painting was notably shown at the Galerie de Luxembourg, in Paris, in 1947. It was bought by Jean-Paul Reubel during an exhibition in Montreal for $50.

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“Bourdouas was his only and one of his treasures. He loved this painting, it was very important to him,” says his widow Huguet Fashion.

Paul-Emile Borduas left us in 1960.

archive photo

Paul-Emile Borduas left us in 1960.

Legally “clean”

Thanks to an international company that specializes in searching for stolen or lost artwork, this painting is now legally “clean”.

Explains Christopher A. Marinello, president and founder of Art Recovery International, which represents the insurance company that paid for the painting at the time of the flight: “It can be resold or moved without any problem thanks to the agreement we signed.”

As for the other canvas titled golden feathers Produced by Jean-Paul Reubel in 1988, its status is still unknown. It will remain in the hands of a Quebec collector.

Representing Christopher A.  Marinello, the insurance company that paid for a painting fee

photo courtesy

Representing Christopher A. Marinello, the insurance company that paid for the painting “The Pagan Altar” at the time of the theft.

Other boards found

According to Alain Lacoursière, a retired policeman turned art appraiser, Borduas canvases are worth about $100,000 while Riopelle’s is estimated to be worth about $40,000.

Mr. Lacorcier found paintings from the same theft in 1999 in Trois-Rivieres, when they were on display at local antiques dealers. The crooks known to the authorities were from the area.

“Finding lost works is more important than any value,” says Sophie Ouellet, Canadian art specialist. We find our roots by finding our paintings. It’s really the value of Quebec’s heritage and culture going back. »

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With Roxanne Trudel

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