The Journal of Cultural Heritage Crime: Twenty stolen paintings recovered in Italy

The Journal of Cultural Heritage Crime has dedicated a paper to the recovery of a collection of twenty paintings, stolen eight years ago from a home in Santa Margherita Ligure.

It is the result of a prolonged investigation by the Carabinieri of the Cultural Heritage Protection Unit of Genoa, coordinated in the initial phase by the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Rome and, subsequently, by the Public Prosecutor of Milan. These paintings mostly date to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and are of Italian and Flemish schools.

According to the JCHC, in November 2018, the Carabinieri were informed by the Data Processing Section of the TPC Command of Rome that two stolen paintings, which were part of the collection of an Italian resident in the United States, were included in the catalogue of a Roman auction house.

Further local searches were ordered in Lombardy aimed at finding the remaining stolen property. They led to the discovery of an 18 additional stolen paintings.

A comparative analysis has been conducted between descriptive and photographic data on the seized goods and of the missing ones held in the database of illicitly stolen cultural goods managed by the TPC Command.

This result has been achieved thanks to the constant, meticulous and daily monitoring and control of auctions of cultural goods, and show how decisive descriptive and photographic documentation are in such investigations.


[“Image source: Nucleo Carabinieri Tutela Patrionio Culturale di Genova, which is sincerely grateful for the generous photographic documentation”]