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The Cover
December 14, 2011

Young Parisian

JAMA. 2011;306(22):2424. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1753

On a winter afternoon in the year 2000, three paintings worth an estimated $40 million were stolen from the Swedish National Museum in Stockholm. One of the thieves held several guards, docents, and tourists at gunpoint while the others took a Rembrandt self-portrait and two paintings by Auguste Renoir (1841-1919): Conversation With a Gardener and Young Parisian (cover ). An alert witness saw three men speed away from the museum in an orange motorboat and called the police, who later found the boat abandoned in a canal. This discovery led to an important clue. The thief who bought the boat had made the mistake of giving the seller his cell phone number, so the police were able to trace the phone's logs, identify the criminals, and round them up. More important, as a result of a painstaking investigation lasting several more years, the stolen paintings were recovered and returned to the museum. In the investigation of art crime, recovering the art is even more important than solving the crime.

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