A close-up of the 18-carat golden friendship ring with an engraving.
A golden ring once given as a present by the famed Irish writer Oscar Wilde has been recovered by a Dutch "art detective" nearly 20 years after it was stolen from Britain's Oxford University.
The friendship ring, a joint gift from Wilde to a fellow student in 1876, was taken during a burglary in 2002 at Magdalen College, where the legendary dandy studied. At the time it was valued at £35,000 (40,650 euros, $45,000).
The trinket's whereabouts remained a mystery for years and there were fears that the ring -- shaped like a belt and buckle and made from 18-carat gold -- had even been melted down.
But Arthur Brand, a Dutchman dubbed the "Indiana Jones of the Art World" for recovering a series of high-profile stolen artworks, used his underworld connections to finally find it.
A golden ring once given as a present by the famed Irish writer Oscar Wilde.
'Gift of love'
The ring was an important part of Magdalen's large collection of memorabilia related to Wilde, who penned classics such as "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "The Importance of Being Earnest".
It was a present from Wilde and fellow student Reginald Harding to their friend William Ward in 1876 while the Irishman was a student at Magdalen, one of the three dozen colleges that make up Oxford University.
The ring bears the inscription in Greek that says "Gift of love, to one who wishes love." It also has the initials of: "OF OF WW + RRH to WWW" on the inside.
Disaster struck in 2002 when a former college cleaner named Eamonn Andrews broke into Magdalen, got drunk on whisky from the college bar, then stole the ring and two unrelated medals.
Twist in the tale
The Dutchman then started to put out feelers.
Together with a London-based antiques dealer named William Veres, their enquiries eventually led them to George Crump, a man whom Brand described as a "decent man with knowledge of the London criminal underworld because of his late uncle, a well-known casino owner."
Through Crump, Brand and Veres finally managed to track down and negotiate the safe return of the stolen ring.
Brand has previously hit the headlines for returning stolen artworks including a Picasso painting stolen from yacht in France, and "Hitler's Horses", two bronze statues made by Nazi sculptor Joseph Thorak.
And the story of his latest find may have a final twist worthy of one of Wilde's tales.
Wilde's ring may have never been discovered were it not for another heist, when a gang of elderly criminals raided a vault in London's jewellery district in 2015 in what was described as the "biggest burglary in English legal history."
"There are very strong indications that the appearance of the ring is linked to the 2015 burglary at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit. Rumours that the ring has reappeared first started a few weeks after the burglary," said Brand.
"And I was given the ring right in front of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit... which I thought was a bit of English humour."
After legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli has now also found a place at the famous wax museum Madame Tussauds.
A performance artist shook up the crowd at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach on Saturday when he grabbed a banana that had been duct-taped to a gallery wall and ate it.
For some Diego Maradona is the greatest footballer of the 20th century, for others - mainly English - he is the cheating possessor of the hand of God. In Italy, however, he is and always will be the patron saint of Naples.
Two dozen visitors queued to get their temperatures taken at the entrance to Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum as it became the first of Spain's major cultural centres to reopen its doors after a long lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
'I do not have thoughts and feelings like humans do," Ai-Da said. "But the objects mean a lot to me if they succeed in their aim, which is helping the viewer question the role of new technologies in our lives.'
Holland stars in the psychological thriller 'The Crowded Room' as Danny Sullivan, who gets arrested for his involvement in a New York City shooting in 1979.
The dialogue has all the ums and ahs, botched sentences and awkward small talk one might expect from actual human beings, not slickly intelligent Aaron Sorkin creations. And it’s one of the most tense and exciting films of the year.