In fact, a bad year. Just a few months after a Monet was stolen from a museum in Nice, some drunken intruders broke into the Musee d’Orsay in Paris over the weekend and punched a four-inch hole in a major Monet, Le Pont d’Argenteuil.
It was just last August that thieves broke into the Jules-Cheret Musee des Beaux-Arts in Nice and stole two canvases by Jan Brueghel the Elder, an Alfred Sisley and Monet’s Cliffs Near Dieppe. And that was the second time the same Monet (and the same Sisley) had been stolen from the same museum. The first time, in 1998, it turned out that the museum’s own curator was the one who made off with them. Unlike that Leonardo recovered last week in Scotland, those four paintings are still missing.
Christine Albanel, the French Minster of Culture, has now promised to seek improved security for French museums. I’d say it’s time.