How technology can help find lost artwork

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Works of art can disappear for different reasons, either because they were forgotten, mislabeled or even stolen, but many times these treasures resurface in unexpected places, so it is important not to stop looking for these pieces and do everything possible to find them, for example with the use of technology.

One of the key aspects when it comes to finding lost works of art is the use of image recognition software, that is, searching the Internet for images that match the paintings, a technique that, among other things, has helped to find pieces that users were trying to sell online.

However, technology can go further and, for that reason, the technology company Samsung has launched a digital collection of the most emblematic works of art in the world that are missing with the exhibition ‘Missing Masterpieces’.

Users can enjoy this exhibition thanks to Samsung’s TV The Frame, which when turned off activates its Art mode by transforming the screen into a frame and, thanks to QLED technology, shows the colors of the original works of art in high definition.


The objective of ‘Missing Masterpieces’ is to use the power of technology to allow users to enjoy missing works of art, which they would not otherwise be able to do, as well as to help in their search directly from their living room.

In this sense, art lovers can help in the recovery of these pieces by sharing theories, tips or even possible clues about where they are using The Frame TV and social networks with the ‘hashtag’ #MissingMasterpieces.

“This exhibition is unique because it is the first virtual exhibition of lost art, an exhibition that would be impossible outside the virtual realm, because all the objects it contains are missing,” Dr. Noah Charney, an expert in art crimes and founder of the Association for the Investigation of Crimes against Art (ARCA), who has also selected the works that appear in the exhibition, told Europa Press.

In addition, the exhibition ‘Missing Masterpieces’ allows users to experience and learn more about the most surprising lost paintings, some of which may never be recovered.

“Art is for everyone’s enjoyment and we have a collective responsibility to protect and preserve our culture for future generations,” Nathan Sheffield, spokesman for Samsung Europe in the Visual Display area, told Europa Press.

“We want to democratize the connection that art offers to everyone and get the public to help make this happen by harnessing the power of technology to connect people,” Sheffield said. “That’s why we are bringing people together to search for lost artwork from the comfort of their living rooms using The Frame and social networks,” he added.


The exhibition includes twelve lost works of art, among them ‘Vista de Auvers-sur-Oise’ by Paul Cézanne, which disappeared when thieves took advantage of the New Year’s celebration in 1999 to steal it, as well as ‘Chloe & Emma’ by Barbora Kysilkova, which was stolen in broad daylight from a museum in Norway and other works by artists such as Monet and Van Gogh.

The 12 pieces in the exhibition are available free of charge to users of The Frame television through the Art Shop catalog.

Missing Masterpieces’ will be available for three months, from November 12, 2020 until February 10, 2021.

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