The Romanian method itself dates back even further than that. A video released by the Romanian police in 2012 shows an attempted heist that took place in May of that year. Filmed by a police helicopter in complete darkness, the video clearly shows two thieves emerging from the sunroof and climbing up to the hood as their vehicle tailgates a cargo truck. For some reason, after peeking in the truck, they abort the robbery. It’s unclear if the recently arrested Romanian gang used an identical technique, but they had certainly perfected their strategy.
Before appearing with its siblings in the large exhibition, The Lute Player found yet another purpose, appearing with Caravaggio’s Musician’s and Laurent de La Hyre’s Allegory of Music in a boutique show of Met-owned period instruments that were depicted in the three paintings (Fig. 9). The grouping of objects explored the possibility that knowledgeable viewers–then and now–might hear music when looking at the two-dimensional art. Not until the major retrospective would The Lute Player take its rightful place as a constituent of the Caravaggesque oeuvre of Valentin de Boulogne (Figs. 10 and 11).