It was a small unregarded painting in an small unregarded museum. It might have remained thus, was it not for a viral podcast on missing masterpieces.
An internationally sought Flemish study of a cavalier sounded to the museum curator very much like a muddy little portrait he saw every day.
He wrote to an acquaintance in the fine art world.
Two years later the restored portrait fetched a world record sum when it was auctioned in London.
The day the cavalier left England the museum fell down.
There was no drama and little noise, the building simply sighed and collapsed.