Spain Returns Stolen Painting and Reliquary to Italy – ARTnews.com

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Spanish officers returned two centuries-old artifacts Wednesday to Italian ambassadors and police overseeing cultural belongings.

In a rite that came about on the Italian Embassy in Madrid, Spanish police passed over two outdated masters works produced in Italy, a sixteenth century gilded wood reliquary of a saint and an oil portray on canvas by means of an nameless Lombard artist titled Luncheon (ca. 1600) this is believed to were produced someday within the Seventeenth-century. Each the works have been recovered in contemporary police operations performed between Spanish and Italian officers.

The reliquary, a gold bust depicting the biblical Saint Clement and attributed to Aniello Stellato, used to be stolen in 2019 from a church within the Southern Italian area of Lecce. The portray, believed to were stolen two decades in the past, depicts a picture of 3 males eating at a desk with a cat this is stated to be a non secular allegory.

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In a speech on the embassy change, the Italian ambassador, Riccardo Guariglia , stated the restoration used to be made imaginable “because of the shut collaboration between the 2 nations.” The director common of Spain’s Nationwide Police, Francisco Pardo Piqueras, stated the following change marks a a hit case, “within the struggle in opposition to crime, and within the coverage of cultural heritage.”

The portray first went lacking 20 years in the past when it used to be taken by means of an unknown supply from a non-public assortment in Bologna.  Interpol situated the portray at an unnamed Spanish public sale area, the place it's unclear if it used to be consigned to be offered. The Spanish police unit in control of cultural heritage traced the paintings again to an antiquities broker who received the paintings from any other vendor and whose id has now not been disclosed.

Police situated the reliquary bust with an vintage broker in Madrid, later uncovering that it had handed in the course of the palms of a number of different sellers in Italy and Spain. Officers didn't reveal the estimated price of the 2 works, however stated in a remark revealed by the use of the Spanish Nationwide Police’s Twitter that the 2 artifacts constitute, “nice ancient price.” It's unclear when they'll be returned to their authentic places.