In the you-can't-make-this-stuff-up department is this non-numismatic story about how a long lost painting came home to a
Hungary thanks to a Hollywood film. -Editor
A long-lost avant-garde painting has returned home to Hungary after nine decades thanks to a
sharp-eyed art historian who spotted it being used as a prop in the Hollywood film "Stuart Little".
In 2009 Gergely Barki, a researcher at Hungary's National Gallery, noticed "Sleeping Lady with Black Vase" by Robert Bereny
(1888-1953) in the 1999 kids' movie about a mouse as he watched TV with his daughter Lola.
"I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Bereny's long-lost masterpiece on the wall behind Hugh Laurie, I nearly dropped Lola from my
lap," Barki, 43, told AFP on Thursday.
researcher can never take his eyes off the job, even when watching Christmas movies at home," he said.
The painting disappeared in the 1920s but Barki recognised it immediately even though he had only seen a faded black-and-white photo dating from a
1928 exhibition archived in the National Gallery.
Barki sent a flurry of emails to staff at the film's makers Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures, receiving a reply from a former Sony
employee, a set designer -- two years later.
"She said the picture was hanging on her wall," Barki told AFP.
"She had snapped it up for next-to-nothing in an antiques shop in Pasadena, California, thinking its avant-garde elegance was perfect for
Stuart Little's living room."
After leaving Sony the set-designer sold the painting to a private collector who has now brought the picture to Budapest for auction.
To read the complete article, see:
Little' helps lost Hungarian painting come home after nine decades
Wayne Homren, Editor
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