Missing Van Gogh paintings spin adult in Italian mafia nation house


AMSTERDAM/ROME Two stolen Vincent Van Gogh paintings value millions of euros were found in an Italian nation residence belonging to an purported mafia drug smuggler, military pronounced on Friday, 14 years after they left in a adventurous heist in Amsterdam.

Italian investigators displayed a recovered artworks – a sea stage and a church where a painter’s father was apportion – to reporters in Naples, observant any was value an estimated 50 million euros ($56 million).

“It is a good day for us currently to see a works and to know that they are protected and that they are in protected hands,” pronounced Axel Ruger, executive of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh museum, who was benefaction when a paintings were shown to reporters.

“We might have to be a bit patient, though we wish that we will have them shortly behind where they belong,” he said, adding a museum would honour Italian authorised procedures.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi sensitive his Dutch reflection Mark Rutte about a military operation before a wake in Jerusalem of former Israeli personality Shimon Peres, a source in Renzi’s bureau said.

The paintings were found wrapped in cloth inside a protected in a nation residence south of Naples that prosecutors pronounced belonged to Raffaele Imperiale, a 41-year-old businessman indicted in Jan of using an general heroin trafficking ring together with high-ranking mobsters from a house done famous in a 2008 film “Gomorra”.

Imperiale is a refugee and Italian investigators think he is vital and using a construction business in Dubai. But a arrests of 11 members of his purported ring in January, including one male who incited state’s witness, led investigators to a paintings.

Along with a artworks, that Naples prosecutor Giovanni Colangelo pronounced were substantially purchased with drug proceeds, military seized a tiny airplane, boats, 49 properties, and 88 bank accounts value some 20 million euros.


The paintings dead in 2002 after a heist in that thieves used a ladder to stand onto a Van Gogh Museum’s roof and mangle into a building. They transient by shifting down a wire in a spoliation deliberate by a U.S. FBI as one of a tip 10 tellurian art crimes.

Two group were after held and convicted of a burglary interjection in partial to DNA justification joining them to a scene. They were condemned to 4 years and 4 years, 6 months, respectively, though a paintings were not recovered.

Colangelo pronounced a artworks were found “a few days ago”, and Italian and Dutch experts were called in to substantiate either they were indeed a stolen works.

“The paintings are really authentic,” Colangelo said.

The recovered works, “Congregation Leaving a Reformed Church in Nuenen” (1884/5) and “View of a Sea during Scheveningen” (1882), are both from comparatively early in Van Gogh’s short, vigourous career.

The Van Gogh Museum pronounced a paintings had been private from their frames, though seem to have suffered usually slight damage.

The Scheveningen portrayal is one of usually dual sea scenes Van Gogh embellished in a Netherlands, and “an critical instance of Van Gogh’s beginning portrayal style, in that he already seemed rather unique”, a museum said.

The museum pronounced on Friday a patch of paint in a reduce left dilemma had been chipped off.

The portrayal of a Nuenen assemblage where Van Gogh’s father worked as apportion was done for his mom and finished after his father’s genocide in 1885. It appears undamaged, though serve review is indispensable to establish both paintings’ accurate condition and replacement needs, a museum said.

($1 = 0.8953 euros)

(Additional stating by Amalia De Simone in Naples; Editing by Toby Chopra)


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