Renowned Winston Churchill portrait stolen from hotel in Canada


A famous portrait of Sir Winston Churchill has been stolen in Canada and the police believe that it was swapped with a fake picture. The portrait known as “Roaring Lion” was captured by renowned photographer Yousuf Karsh just after Churchill’s address at the Canadian parliament in 1941. 

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The staff at Château Laurier hotel in Ottawa – the place where the portrait was kept – felt that there was something wrong as it did not match the other portraits taken by Karsh. The hotel also houses the portraits of Martin Luther King Jr, Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway and Queen Elizabeth II. 

Jerry Fielder, who oversees Karsh’s estate, was contacted and he discovered that the original portrait was missing. “I’ve seen that signature for 43 years. So, it took me just one second to know that someone had tried to copy it,” Fielder told Guardian. “It was a fake.” 

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The portrait was one out of the 15 gifted to the hotel by Karsh himself almost 24 years ago. Fielder explained that Karsh had a long relationship with the hotel as he had his first exhibition in the same venue. He even lived there for 20 years and as a result, decided to gift them his artwork. 

“For the kinds of people that he photographed, they could spot a sycophant or a phoney a mile away. And when you were with Yousuf, you knew right away he was the real thing. And I think it allows people to feel that they can be themselves,” he said. “He just had a way with people and putting them at ease,” he said. 

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