Artwork believed to be by Michelangelo stolen from church in Belgium
Share article:
Share article:

Artwork believed to be by Michelangelo stolen from church in Belgium

A 16th century painting of the Holy Family which some consider to be a work by Michelangelo or one of his students has been stolen from the church of St Ludger in Zele near Dendermonde in East Flanders. Police said the thief entered the church through the sacristy by breaking the lock on the outer door. The break-in took place on Friday morning between 0500 and 0600.

The painting measures 145cm by 99cm without its frame. It was due to be examined by an Italian expert to determine its origin. If it is from the hand of Michelangelo or even from his studio, that would increase its value greatly. However it would make the painting very difficult to sell.

“The work resembles a drawing by Michelangelo from the Portland Collection, the collection of the Duke of Portland in England,” said Father Jan Raemdonck, speaking on VRT News. “One of Michelangelo’s students, Marcello Venusti, made several copies.”

The work depicts the Holy Family with John the Baptist as a child. The Christ child lies sleeping on the Virgin’s knee while Joseph looks on.

A witness has reported suspicious activity around the doors at the back of the church on the early morning of Thursday. According to the description given by the witness, a suspect has been described as a young man aged between 17 and 20 wearing dark clothing and carrying a dark-coloured backpack in his hands.

Police have appealed for other witnesses either to similar suspicious activity on Friday morning or to the whereabouts of the painting.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

More wolf attacks: 15 deer killed at family resort over the weekend
Fifteen deer were killed by wolves in the Belgian province of Limburg this weekend, between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The deer were ...
Cost of breast cancer still too high for many patients
Breast cancer still carries too high a cost for patients when one in nine women in Belgium will face the disease before reaching 75, according to a ...
Gare Maritime: Brussels’ most exciting new architectural project
A generation ago, the Gare Maritime in the Tour & Taxis industrial site was an abandoned wasteland. It is now a model for urban renewal and ...
Person hit by train in Brussels
A person was hit by a train in the tunnel between Brussels North and Brussels Central at around 10:20 AM on Monday, railway network manager Infrabel ...
Belgium in Brief: Rules For A Fourth Wave
It's the news that nobody wants to hear, but here we go again. Belgium’s council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss ...
Belgian grandparents to walk across Scotland for COP26
A group of Belgian grandparents has set off on a 100 km hike that will take them from Belgium to the Scottish city of Glasgow, just ahead of the ...
Rise in fuel prices will bring Belgian State €547 million in tax, say Workers Party
The sharp rise in fuel prices that have been felt across the continent will bring an additional €547 million to the Belgian State, the Workers' Party ...
Amid backlash, Brussels police chief promises to do better for sexual assault victims
After multiple rallies against sexual violence took place in Brussels last week, with victims offering testimony of poor treatment from police when ...
Hire bikes and scooters: Brussels Parliament wants to restore order
Majority parties in the Brussels Parliament plan to enact new rules allowing communes to set specific and mandatory parking spaces for hire bikes and ...
‘Fourth wave’ has begun: These are the rules
The expected fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic has begun, according to Belgium’s Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit). Belgium’s ...
Coronavirus: Ending the pandemic is ‘a choice,’ says WHO chief
The Covid-19 pandemic will end “when the world chooses to end it” because “all the tools” are now available to fight the virus, the World Health ...
‘Can’t keep count’: Instagram page for sexual assault testimonies overwhelmed
An Instagram account compiling testimonies in an effort to give a voice to victims of sexual violence in bars and nightclubs has been overwhelmed ...