In 2014, Baltimore Museum of Art organised an exhibition to celebrate the return of Renoir’s Paysage Bords de Seine (‘Landscape on the Banks of the Seine’), which had been stolen from the museum six decades earlier. The exhibition was promoted on Twitter with two hashtags: #RenoirReturns and #BMAselfie. We were responsible for quantitatively analysing the use of these hashtags and the connections that were created for them.

Analysis of the use of the hashtags and connections in social media

In 1951 a small Renoir landscape was stolen from Baltimore Museum of Art. The whereabouts of the painting remained unknown until it resurfaced in 2012 when a British teacher who claimed to have bought it at a flea market for $7 put it up for auction. In early 2014 the painting was returned to Baltimore Art Museum.

To celebrate the return, the museum organized an exhibition and promoted it on Twitter with two hashtags: #RenoirReturns and #BMAselfie.

Our work consisted of analysing the use of the hashtags with SNA (social network analysis) techniques. We collected all the tweets via the Twitter API, performed a quantitative analysis and analysed the connections that were created between the people who participated with their Twitter accounts.

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