Stolen gold horn found in the Netherlands
THURSDAY, 04 FEBRUARY 2010 10:19 KR CULTURE
One of Denmark’s most important cultural works was found at a Dutch auction after being stolen in 1970
Exactly 40 years after it was stolen from a Zealand museum, the gold and ivory horn made for Danish author and hymn writer BS Ingemann’s 70th birthday turned up in The Netherlands, reports Frederiksborg Amts Avis.
The horn, made in 1859, was stolen in 1970 from the Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød, northwest of Copenhagen.
Museum curators had given up hope of ever finding the horn, as nothing was heard about it for several years after the theft. But Mette Skougaard, the current curator, went to an auction in Amsterdam this past week after she had been informed the horn was being sold.
‘It was a wonderful surprise. We thought that the horn would have been melted down, because the alleged thief would never say where it had gone,’ said Skougaard.
Police caught who the man they believed was behind the theft at the time, but he had already got rid of the horn.
Skougaard went to Amsterdam after hearing about the horn to verify whether it really was the same one made for Ingemann’s birthday.
‘There’s no question it’s the original, no doubt whatsoever,’ she said. ‘It’s completely unique – richly decorated and with Ingemann’s name etched on it. ‘We’ thrilled that it’s been found again, because it’s an important part of our heritage.’
The museum has now laid claim to the horn over its current owner, who resides in Germany.
The Museum of National History cannot disclose the actual value of the stolen horn, but in 1970 the police estimated that it was worth between 60-70,000 kroner.