Zurich struggling to find more than 5,000 misplaced works of art
Switzerland’s largest city Zurich acknowledged Monday it had lost trace of 5,176 works of art, including an original painting by Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier.
The city had carried out its first full inventory of its vast collection of 35,000 pieces in nearly a century, only to discover that nearly 15 percent were missing, including nearly 1,400 original works, it said in a statement.
It stressed though that it expected to find most of the missing artwork.
“The collection moves about,” Urs Spinner, a spokesman for Zurich’s construction department, told the ATS news agency, pointing out that the city’s art was spread across more than 500 locations, including schools, hospitals and offices.
The total value of the collection has been estimated at around 121 million Swiss francs ($130 million, 100 million euros), but the city stressed that the missing artwork only accounted for a fraction of that amount.
The unidentified painting by Le Corbusier had, according to ATS, been purchased for 80,000 francs, while the remainder of the missing original works had been insured for just one million francs, the Zurich statement said.