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Samsung harnesses the power of technology to shine a light on lost artworks

Samsung’s exhibition Missing Masterpieces features pieces that cannot be physically seen anywhere as they are feared to have been lost forever. Curated with Dr Noah Charney, esteemed art crime expert, and his organization The Association for Research into Crimes Against Art, they have been brought together for the very first time to be enjoyed by anyone and to aid the work being done to recover them. 

The 12 artworks are being exhibited on Samsung’s The Frame TV, available for free for its users. With its frame-like design, the TV functions both as a multi-media art platform while blending into home décor when it is not in use. From the moment it is turned off, Art Mode turns on, transforming the screen into a gallery for art collections. 

The new digital collection of lost pieces includes ”View Auvers-sur-Oise” by Paul Cézanne, which went missing when burglars took advantage of New Year’s Eve 1999 festivities to steal the painting in cinematic style. ”Chloe & Emma” by Barbora Kysilkova was stolen in broad daylight from a museum in Norway. The thieves plucked out more than 200 nails to pull out the canvas, leaving its frame in an immaculate state.

— Art is for the enjoyment of everyone, and we have a collective responsibility to protect and preserve our culture for future generations. This is why we are launching Missing Masterpieces, to ensure priceless pieces that may never be seen again, can be enjoyed by as wide an audience as possible. The Frame embodies this, helping to democratise art for everyone and acting as both a TV and a window into the world of art, says Nathan Sheffield, Samsung Europe’s Head of Visual Display.

All art lovers and amateur detectives can help in the search for the masterpieces by sharing new tips, theories, or clues using #MissingMasterpieces.

— Before you get to work on a puzzle, you want to gather all the pieces, right? It’s the same with a crime or a mysterious loss. From contradictory media reports to speculation in Reddit feeds – the clues are out there, but the volume of information can be overwhelming. This is where technology and social media can help by bringing people together to assist the search. It’s not unheard of for an innocuous tip posted online to be the key that unlocks a case, says Dr Noah Charney.

The Missing Masterpieces exhibition will be live until 10 February 2021.