In a strange turn of events, Glasgow Museum has revealed that a $3.7 million plaster copy of Auguste Rodin’s Les Bourgeois de Calais has missing from its collection for almost 75 years. Rodin made many castings like this one. It was part of a show called “Sculpture in the Open Air,” which took place at Kelvingrove Park in 1949.
A Long-Term Absence
The charity Glasgow Life, which runs the city’s museums, said that the statue had lost since the end of the 1949 show. The city of Calais paid for the sculpture in 1884, but it got damaged while it was on show. And even though it’s just a clay cast, Director Jérôme le Blay says it’s worth a lot—about $3.7 million.
Rodin’s Several Castings
Rodin was allowed by French law to cast more than one version of the sculpture, and bronze copies of Les Bourgeois de Calais can be found in museums all over the world. But the fact that the plaster version from Glasgow Museum is missing has made people wonder where it is and how it went so long without being seen.
Inventory Problems at Glasgow Museum
The Rodin sculpture bought by the Glasgow Museum in 1901. The museum formed in the 1860s. The institution has had trouble keeping track of its inventory. Right now, about 1,750 things are missing or stolen. Les Bourgeois de Calais’s lost status only recently found out, which led to a more thorough look at the collection.
Cataloguing and security at Glasgow Museum have improved
Glasgow Life explained that since the museum opened, a lot of progress has made. It happen in recording, cataloguing, and protecting the collection. Making use of the Museum’s Collection Management System, the cataloguing process has become more centralised over the last 30 years. Also, capital improvement projects have made the holding conditions better for the collection.
Over the last 20 years, Glasgow Museum has done a full inventory. They has helped them find things that previously marked as “unlocated.” The goal of this careful process is to make the collections safer and stop theft. When historic thefts proven to have happened, strict steps taken to make it hard to sell the stolen items at legal sales. These steps include calling the police and putting the items on the Art Loss register.
In the middle of a collection count in Glasgow Museum
The lost Rodin sculpture found in Glasgow Museum at a time when they around the world. They rethinking and inventorying their collections. A top curator at the British Museum recently stole more than 2,000 items from the museum’s collection. Because of this event, museums are paying more attention and are more determined than ever to keep their collections safe and secure.