Art: Lost

It was only the latest in a series of art thefts that have run through Europe like a plague in the past several weeks. But in some ways it was the most painful for art lovers. Vermeer was among the greatest of all painters, but he painted few pictures, and fewer still survive—no more than 36. Three weeks ago, a thief cut one of those precious 36 out of its frame in Brussels' Palais des Beaux-Arts, where it was on loan from Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. The place was closed for the night, four guards were...

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