Three years ago, the Israel Museum reported that Balzac Nude with Arms Crossed was missing. Though the sculpture was recovered shortly afterwards, neither museum officials nor Jerusalem police had much to say by of explanation. Reportedly, the bronze sculpture is so heavy that it would have been nearly impossible to remove it without a vehicle. The nude is part of a series on renowned French novelist Honoré de Balzac. The value of the stolen piece is not clear but other Rodin sculptures have sold from between $3 and $19 million.
The sculpture disappeared during a five-year renovation of the museum. While the majority of the renovation was competed last summer, portions of the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden, where the sculpture was displayed, remain under construction. No other works of art have been reported missing. The museum would not discuss details of security with the public but said it remains a high priority.
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