Italian authorities discovered a villa turned into a private museum, which houses hundreds of artifacts stolen from the state.
Police found this house in Lanuvio, located south of Rome. Roman columns, statues, decorated fragments of marble, frescoes, vases - all this was found in an impromptu house-museum. In one of the halls was an office where ancient artifacts were stored, which include sketches and a whole collection of coins. To date, police have already detained four suspects who are allegedly the owners of the mansion with valuables.
Taking into account the fact that Italy, rich in talents, stores a huge number of historical artifacts and works of art, the country's police regularly encounter thefts of cultural property. So, last month, the unknown, bypassing the tight guard, entered the Pompeii complex, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and stole part of the fresco.
A few days ago, in the homeland of Michelangelo and Botticelli, they discovered other masterpieces of world art - two paintings by Paul Gauguin and Pierre Bonnard, stolen almost forty years ago. Missing art objects were found in the kitchen from an ordinary worker who admitted that he had acquired them for almost a penny and had no idea that they were stolen.
The man did not even suspect that the creations of great artists were hanging on his wall until his son accidentally stumbled upon another picture of Gauguin in a magazine and noticed an unusual similarity between the two canvases.
The Italian immediately turned to experts for help in assessing his property, and later a special bureau for investigating such cases contacted him. By the way, the total value of finds can reach at least 10.6 million euros.
Last month, 68 more were added to the list of cultural heritage of Italy. It is precisely the number of allegedly stolen artifacts that the Swiss authorities returned to the country of wine and sun, and the total number of art and history objects returned over the past 13 years to their homeland was 4,500. “The last 69 artifacts completed the process of mutual assistance between the two countries, which lasted for many years, and allowed the transfer of 4,536 historically important objects,” said the representative of the Ministry of Culture of Switzerland, noting that hundreds more items were seized from thieves in the country.
Italy turned to a neighboring country for help in 2001 after it became known that there was a whole network that included antique dealers, businessmen, bankers, and others involved in the illegal sale of art objects and their export abroad. Swiss investigators discovered about 5,800 artifacts smuggled into the country, many of which came directly from Italy. Five icons that once belonged to Greece were also returned to their historic homeland.