Precious painting lost at German airport found at dumpster

BERLIN (AP) — A surrealist painting worth over a quarter million euros that was forgotten by a businessman at Duesseldorf’s airport has been recovered from a nearby recycling dumpster, police said recently.

The businessman, whose identity was not given, accidentally left behind the painting by French surrealist Yves Tanguy at a check-in counter as he boarded a flight from Duesseldorf to Tel Aviv on November 27.

By the time he landed in Israel and contacted Duesseldorf police, the EUR280,000 oeuvre, which had been wrapped in cardboard, had disappeared.

Despite multiple emails with details about the painting, authorities could not locate the artwork, police spokesman Andre Hartwig said.

It was only after the businessman’s nephew travelled to the airport from neighbouring Belgium and talked with police directly with more information that an inspector was able to trace the painting to paper recycling dumpster used by the airport’s cleaning company.

“This was definitely one of our happiest stories this year,” Hartwig said. “It was real detective work.”

Chief Detective Michael Dietz holds a painting from French artist Yves Tanguy. PHOTO: AP