Art: Found & Lost

Newspaper readers sometimes get the impression that lost masterpieces of art turn up continually, and that any old-looking picture in the attic or at an auction may be worth a fortune. The day-after fact: the typical news story about the Rembrandt that Aunt Sophie found in a pushcart usually comes unglued just a few days after it has been front-paged, but by then, it is no longer news. Contributing to the confusion is the fact that art experts generally refuse to challenge such stories, for fear of libel suits. Result: gullible collectors spend...

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