37 artworks recovered 40 years after heist

March 9th, 2012 - 6:33 am ICT by IANS  

Rome, March 9 (IANS/AKI) A total of 37 paintings, including works by Peter Paul Rubens and Nicolas Poussin, were recovered by Italian police more than 40 years after they were stolen from a businessman in Rome.

Police said the artworks produced between the 13th and 19th centuries were worth 7.5 million euros (around $10 million).

The paintings were stolen in 1971. The owner at the time of the robbery has since died and the works will be passed on to his heirs. Five paintings from the theft are still missing.

“It’s one of the most important Italian art recoveries in the last two or three years,” said Raffaele Mancino, who headed the police operation.

The recovered booty also included works by Guido Reni and Antoon Van Dyck, both 17th century painters.

The stolen art came to the attention of police after some of the pieces were spotted in a catalogue published for an upcoming auction. They were to put up for sale by a women identified as M.F.

–IANS/AKI
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