Join Freeman’s every other Friday for a round-up of the latest news and notable events in the art & auction world. (Consider it your weekend reading.)

  • During World War II, the Nazis didn’t just loot art; they looted books. Just how many? Millions, now mostly in libraries across Europe, with more than a million in a single library in Berlin alone, according to researchers. The effort to return them to rightful owners or their heirs has been going on—with little fanfare—for the last decade.
     
  • Days before it was set to be authenticated by an expert, a painting suspected to be by Michelangelo depicting the Holy Family was stolen from a church in the Flemish town of Zele, Belgium. According to Pastor Jan Van Raemdonck, only a small group of people even knew about the potential masterpiece.
     
  • Want to paint like Rembrandt? French and Dutch scientists have discovered a “rare secret ingredient” the artist used in his paintings. (Spoiler: you probably can’t replicate it at home.)
     
  • Counterfeit works by African American artists are popping up with alarming frequency, according to one New York dealer. A combination of lack of recognition during the artists’ lifetimes and lack of research on their work has created a hole in the market, which forgers are now filling.
     
  • More than 900 years after her death, a medieval German nun is getting her due, thanks to the discovery blue pigment in her dental bones. Researchers in Dalheim were examining remains at a monastery to shed light on diets during the Middle Ages, when they discovered hundreds of lapis lazuli particles beneath her teeth—likely from licking her paintbrush while illuminating sacred texts.