$640,000 Aivazovsky stolen from Russian businessman

A fraud involving a painting by a prominent Russian marine landscape artist Ivan Aivazovsky, that is reported to be worth some $640,000, has been revealed in Moscow.

A 58-year-old woman has reportedly sold Aivazovsky’s painting titled Seashore: Landscape with a Carriage and a Boat, which belonged to a Russian businessman. The painting fell into the woman’s hands in 2001, when she took it from the businessman on the pretence of restoration.

On July 14 the businessman, the owner of a Moscow-based bank, reported the theft to the local police. It is not clear how and when the rightful owner of the great master’s work came to understand that he had been tricked.

The suspected woman was detained the same day in central Moscow and admitted her guilt.

The current location of the painting is yet unknown, nor is the sum of money the swindler gained from the “bargain”. A case of fraud has been filed.

According to RIA Novosti news agency, the owner of the painting did not provide the police with documents that could prove the artwork’s authenticity.

Ivan Aivazovsky is one of Russia’s outstanding romantic painters. His works have always been in demand at art sales and mainly are estimated at several million dollars. Due to the artist’s popularity, his works are often forged.

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