Soli Brug Gallery in Greaaker in Norway has admitted losing a Rembrandt etching worth up to $8,500 in the post, after trying to save money on a courier and insurance.
The art gallery, 80 km south of Oslo, bought the Dutch master’s Lieven Willemsz van Coppenol, Writing-Master, from a British dealer.
The etching, made around 1658, is now lost in the Norwegian postal system.
The gallery’s chairman Ole Derje said they had used regular mail as couriers and insurance were “quite expensive”.
Ole Derje said he received notice to collect the piece. When he arrived, though, it was nowhere to be found.
“It is worth around 40,000 to 50,000 crowns,” he said, claiming that the postal service was only offering compensation of between 500 and 1,000 crowns.
Ole Derje declined to name the seller, citing confidentiality concerns. The Soli Brug Gallery already displays works by Rembrandt, Goya, Munch and Dali.
“We are sorry that this has happened,” said Hilde Ebeltoft-Skaugrud, a spokesman for the Norwegian postal service.
“We have advised him to use a more appropriate form of mail when sending items that are worth as much as this with the appropriate insurance connected.”