It’s not in Kansas anymore.
Marc Chagall’s “Study for Over Vitebsk,” an 8-by-10-inch oil painting valued at $1 million that was stolen from The Jewish Museum last year, returned for a day to the East Side Jewish institution last week.
It had turned up at a post office in Minnesota and was shipped to Topeka, where it was first identified. The painting was later authenticated by Bella Meyer (pictured), granddaughter of the late, Vitebsk-born artist.
“Study for Over Vitebsk,” painted in 1914, was on loan to the museum from a private collection in Russia. A study for a larger, similar piece called “Over Vitebsk,” it shows as old man floating above a village with a walking stick and beggar’s sack. It’s now in the hands of the FBI , awaiting return to Russia.
A group calling itself the International Committee for Art and Peace claimed credit for the theft and said the painting would not be returned until the Israelis and Palestinians made peace. The New York Police Department and the FBI, still on the case, have yet to determine who stole the painting.
At a news conference at the museum last week, the two humble postal employees from Kansas, along with members of the NYPD, FBI and the Russian Consulate in New York were welcomed by museum director Joan Rosenbaum.