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BOOK EXCERPT: 'Stealing the Mystic Lamb'


  • Photo 1 of 5

    From the book "Stealing the Mystic Lamb" by Noah Charney. Reprinted by arrangement with PublicAffairs (www.publicaffairsbooks.com), a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2010.

    - PublicAffairs

  • Photo 2 of 5

    From the book "Stealing the Mystic Lamb" by Noah Charney. Reprinted by arrangement with PublicAffairs (www.publicaffairsbooks.com), a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2010.

    - PublicAffairs

  • Photo 3 of 5

    From the book "Stealing the Mystic Lamb" by Noah Charney. Reprinted by arrangement with PublicAffairs (www.publicaffairsbooks.com), a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2010.

    - PublicAffairs

  • Photo 4 of 5

    From the book "Stealing the Mystic Lamb" by Noah Charney. Reprinted by arrangement with PublicAffairs (www.publicaffairsbooks.com), a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2010.

    - PublicAffairs

  • Photo 5 of 5

    From the book "Stealing the Mystic Lamb" by Noah Charney. Reprinted by arrangement with PublicAffairs (www.publicaffairsbooks.com), a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2010.

    - PublicAffairs

The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, or the Ghent Alterpiece, is a polyptych panel painting that was commissioned by wealthy merchant Judocus (Joost) Vijd and his wife Elisabeth Borluut. It once decorated couple's private chapel. The painting is said to have been started by Hubert Van Eyck and completed by his younger brother Jan van Eyck in 1432.

The twelve-panel oil painting weighs more than two tons and has been involved in more than a dozen crimes in its history, including being stolen seven different times. Noah Carney chronicles the history of the Ghent Altarpiece in his new book, "Stealing the Mystic Lamb: The True Story of the World's Most Coveted Masterpiece," and talks with Kai Ryssdal about...

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