'Stolen' art found on nearby shelf. Police keep looking anyway

Boston Public Library reveals it has no clue what's in the big pile of things it owns

Photograph of Boston Public Library by David Ohmer - (https://flic.kr/p/4BisfP)

Artworks which went missing from the Boston Public Library, leading to FBI involvement and the resignation of the library's president, have been found on a shelf in the library.

The Boston Globe reported that the pair of rare prints were found a day after president Amy Ryan announced her resignation.

The prints – an Albrecht Dürer engraving valued at $600,000 and a Rembrandt etching worth up to $30,000 – were found on a shelf a short walk away from where they had been expected to be filed.

"It’s a cloud lifted, a burden off our shoulders," a "jubilant" Amy Ryan told the Globe. "Everyone is happy." she added, while confirming she still intended to step down.

Having now been recovered, a criminal investigation launched on 29 April into "how the prints were handled" is still proceeding.

"The anti-corruption unit will continue trying to determine if anything else is missing," Police Commissioner Bill Evans told the Globe. "We will be examining what they have there. The investigation is not over."

It is understood that the artworks were found after an eight-week search of the library's stacks. A library statement claims that 14 library workers searched through 180,000 of the print stacks' 320,000 items before the missing items were discovered.

The library has no central inventory list of what it owns, and there is no catalogue of each item. In a trustees' meeting, Ryan complained that she had inherited "a system in which her predecessors voraciously acquired collections for the library, but didn’t keep records to accompany them." ®


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