Cultural Postcards + [Southern Europe]

Italy: Italian police unveil recovered art
Stolen art including a painting of Rome's historic Pantheon by Giovanni Paolo Pannini, and the Lamentation of Adam and Eve over the body of Abel, by Giovanni Battista Caracciolo (il Battistello) were among works worth about 15 million euros recovered by special art police and presented Thursday.

Italian police unveil recovered art
The Pannini was recovered from a bank vault and the Lamentation from an antique shop in Cagliari by a special unit of the national military Carabinieri that also discovered two sarcophagi dating from the first and third centuries after Christ.

Some 1,300 archaeological finds dating from as far back as the sixth century BC were among the treasures presented by the Carabinieri unit for the protection of cultural heritage.

Many of the items recovered will be returned to the owners as Carabinieri continue their investigation.

"Our artistic heritage is continually attacked," said Giancarlo Capaldo, deputy prosecutor of Rome.


"We are the country with the greatest number of art works in the world, but fortunately we also have the best specialized police in the world," he added.

Investigators patiently tracked the Caracciolo, starting with the antique dealer in Cagliari who said he had purchased the massive oil painting for 60 million lire.

However, the work had been stolen in the 1980s from D'Ayala Castello of Valva near Salerno in southern Italy and investigations are continuing into how it wound up with the Cagliari dealer.

The Pannini was traced through Switzerland after it had disappeared during restoration.

Source: ANSA [October 09, 2014]