CAIRO – 30 August 2022: The mystery of the theft of the famous British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's portrait dating back to the 1940s from the courtyard of a hotel in Canada remains unsolved.
It is not clear how the thieve(s) did it. Was it a covert operation carried out under the cloak of darkness?
Whatever happened, it is clear that those who stole the world-famous portrait of Sir Winston Churchill from the Chateau Laurier meticulously planned the robbery.
It took more than eight months for anyone to realize that the picture hanging on the wood-paneled wall of the reading hall was a fake, according to CBS Canada.
“The theft was premeditated,” said Bonnie Chiglide, an Ontario lawyer who specializes in international art and cultural heritage law.
Churchill's stolen photo was taken to show him standing with one hand on a chair, the other on his waist, frowning at the camera and looking defiant and assertive.
Experts say the image reinforced the determination of the Allies in World War II, as Churchill was an icon for them.
The Karsh Foundation, whose founder Yousuf Karsh took the stolen original, says the photographer's entire portfolio of 350,000 print and negative copies was delivered to Library and Archives Canada upon his death in 1992, and no further copies were made.
However, this is not the only copy that exists. It is not the only original copy of the photograph, but it is still very valuable because it dates back to the 1940s and is also of Churchill.
Sotheby's in London put one of Churchill's photographs taken by Karsh up for auction in 2020. It was estimated to fetch about $20,000 to $26,000. The auction house refused to reveal the final price at which it was sold.