Authenticity

The work of art was there. Placed right in the middle of the wall. Jealously guarded. Covered with different alarm systems. When visitors came to admire it, they sometimes stayed several hours to contemplate it, to comment on it, to take pictures (without flash, so as not to damage it) or to try to draw it. It was a very beautiful work, which had its place in this museum. It had even more than its place, since it was the centerpiece of the precious collection of the place. It needed a whole team of guards to prevent theft. No one had yet tried, but it was better to be careful. This team of guards had a leader who coordinated their rounds. Surveillance cameras also allowed them to keep an eye on the roof to see what was happening in the area of the work. Night and day, they surveyed the corridors adjacent to the work’s hall. Some of them placed themselves directly in the room to be closer. No, really, this work was certainly the most closely watched in the world. 

The chief of guards made twice as many rounds as the guards under his command. He was directly responsible for the security of the work of art, after all. His duty was to protect it. Well, in reality, the artwork was far too big for a theft to go unnoticed. That’s probably why nobody thought it could ever be stolen. That and the impressive security system seemed to make it impossible. It wasn’t until one day, when the painting was sent to the restoration shop, that it was realized that it was the wrong painting. Someone must have stolen the real one and replaced it with an excellent copy that had been believed to be authentic until then. 

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