Wednesday 11 May 2016

Ukrainian Border Guards Prevent Art Smuggling

More paintings stolen from western museums in the hands of eastern European criminal gangs (Natalia Zinets and Matthias Williams, 'Ukraine recovers 17 paintings stolen from Verona museum', Reuters Wed May 11, 2016). 

Ukraine has recovered 17 paintings, including works by Peter Paul Rubens and Tintoretto, stolen by armed robbers from the Castelvecchio museum in Verona last year [...] The art works were found about 1.5 km (1 mile) from the border with Moldova, the statement said, without elaborating. The paintings were stolen on Nov. 19  [...]  Last month Ukrainian security services recovered four Dutch masterpieces, dating from the country's 17th-century Golden Age, more than 10 years after they were snatched from a museum in the Netherlands.
Elisabetta Povoledo reports ('A Verona Museum’s Stolen Paintings Are Found in Ukraine', New York Times May 12, 2016):
The 17 paintings, including works by Rubens, Tintoretto and Mantegna, were recovered by Ukrainian border guards [...] wrapped in dark plastic bags and buried under leaves near the border with Moldova, The A.P. said. [...] The paintings had been whisked off the walls of the Castelvecchio Museum in November by masked and armed robbers who tied up a security guard and an employee just as the museum was closing. In March, Italian officials announced that 12 people in Italy and Moldova — including the security guard — had been arrested in connection with the theft.
The interesting question is who was supposed to pick up the hidden paintings and what was their intended destination?

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