Thursday , April 15 2021

Stolen Italian artifacts of the Renaissance returned to the Louvre



01:20

Two 16th-century Italian Renaissance artifacts stolen from the Louvre in Paris, France more than 35 years ago, have been returned.

The badge and helmet were donated to the Louvre in 1922, but were later stolen in 1983 under circumstances that still remain a mystery.

The items were found in January during an auction related to an estate in the city of Bordeaux in the southwest.

A military antiques expert was asked to examine the artifacts and became suspicious before notifying police, who identified them from the national database of stolen artwork. The Bordeaux prosecutor’s office is now investigating how they ended up on the family’s estate.

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The badge and helmet were donated to the Louvre in 1922, but were later stolen in 1983. / AFP

The badge and helmet were donated to the Louvre in 1922, but were later stolen in 1983. / AFP

Philippe Mulguier, the director of the Louvre’s artwork, was shocked when the artifacts were returned together.

“I was sure that one day we would see them reappear because they are such special objects. But I never imagined that it would work so well – that they would be in France and still together.” , – he said.

“It is a prestigious weapon made with virtuosity, which is the equivalent of a luxury car today. In the 16th century, weapons became a work of very luxurious art. Armor became an ornament that had nothing to do with its use.”

“Burgundy [breastplate] this is especially important because all this decoration has a very high relief with ancient deities, scenes from Roman history, and there you see very well, all you see here is inlaid gold, “he added.

There are 100,000 objects in the database of stolen works of art in France, 900 last year alone.

The last theft from the Louvre was in 1998 – a portrait of the French artist of the XIX century Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, which is still wanted, said the president-director of the museum Jean-Luc Martinez.


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