Stolen Dutch artworks found in British warehouse: report

Hundreds of works by celebrated Dutch expressionist artist Karel Appel have been discovered in a British warehouse ten years after they went missing, the Guardian newspaper has reported.

Appel never recovered from the loss of his lifetime's work of drawings, sketches and notebooks, which disappeared in Amsterdam in 2002, and died aged 85 in 2006.

The 400 pieces were found by a British storage company when it cleared out the contents of a warehouse that it had bought before Christmas, the paper reported on its website yesterday.Intrigued staff from the unnamed business took the eight boxes of works to Bonhams auction house, who told them they were on the Art Loss Register's (ALR) database of "most wanted" stolen art.

"After five weeks of intense negotiation with the logistics company a settlement was finally reached with the company agreeing to release their claim to the artwork," said Christopher Marinello, ALR's lawyer and chief negotiator.

Appel, a leading member of the avant garde Cobra group, was awarded the UNESCO prize at the 1954 Venice Biennale.

His works are known for their depictions of grotesque animals using thickly-applied paint.The artist's widow, Harriet Appel, said: "I am extremely happy that the Karel Appel Foundation have recovered the lost drawings and am impressed by the successful and professional way in which this case was handled by the ALR."

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