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Man Forgets $300,000 Painting at Airport, Then the Hunt Begins

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A painting worth more than a quarter million euros that was forgotten by a businessman at an airport in Germany has been recovered from a nearby recycling dumpster, police said Thursday.

The businessman, whose identity was not given, accidentally left behind the painting by French surrealist Yves Tanguy as he boarded a flight from Duesseldorf to Tel Aviv on Nov. 27.

By the time he landed in Israel and contacted Duesseldorf police, the 280,000-euro (340,000-dollar) painting, which had been wrapped in cardboard, had disappeared.

Despite multiple emails with details about the 16-by-24-inch work, authorities could not locate it, police spokesman Andre Hartwig said.

It was only after the businessman’s nephew traveled to the airport from neighboring Belgium and talked with police directly with more information that an inspector was able to trace the painting to a paper recycling dumpster used by the airport’s cleaning company.

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“This was definitely one of our happiest stories this year,” Hartwig said. “It was real detective work.”


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