ROME, 30 Sep – RIA Novosti, Sergei Elders. The authenticity of two paintings by the great Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh stolen in December 2002 in Amsterdam and found the staff of special forces of the Italian Financial guard, is fully confirmed by the art experts said on Friday during a special press conference in Naples the main city Prosecutor Giovanni Colangelo.
Previously, the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, where almost 14 years ago was kidnapped by the famous hosts of “the View of the sea at Scheveningen (1882) and the Flock comes out of the reformed Church in Nyuenene” (1884/85), reported the discovery in Italy of the two masterpieces.
Colangelo, stressed that the examination of paintings was held by the representatives of the Museum of bath Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, who were present at the press conference.
With the permission of the Museum Director, Axel Rüger, who did not hide his happiness in the unexpected discovery of stolen masterpieces discovered the paintings were shown to journalists.
Representatives of law enforcement bodies of Italy reported that both of the host had been confiscated by the financial guard in the course of a special operation to combat large-scale drug smuggling, which involved one of the clans of the powerful Neapolitan criminal organization Camorra. During the investigation one of the suspects spoke about the two valuable paintings that were acquired by the local mafia on the income from criminal business. As a result, the law enforcers conducted a search in one of the buildings in the town of Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples, where it was discovered the stolen work of van Gogh.
The Dutch police in 2003 arrested two compatriots who were convicted of the theft of masterpieces and sentenced to 4.5 years in prison. They pleaded not guilty, and the stolen paintings had disappeared without a trace.
Chief inspector of the carabinieri for the protection of cultural property Colonel Hugo Jottin, which since 2002 has been stolen in Amsterdam paintings, stated that they were probably destined for some private collection, as to sell them legally was impossible. However, it is possible that the mafia decided to use the stolen works of art whose value is estimated at approximately $ 100 million as a long-term investment.
As you know, the works of van Gogh are among the first in the list of most expensive paintings ever sold in the world. At least five of his paintings was purchased for more than $ 50 million each.
Hosts of the Amsterdam Museum was included in a special list, the FBI ten most wanted works of art in the world.
The Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi expressed gratitude to the police who discovered the stolen masterpieces. “Thanks to the Financial guard for the detection of van Gogh’s works. We are proud of our law enforcement agencies”, — he wrote on Friday in his microblog on Twitter.
It is not known when the masterpieces of van Gogh will return to his Museum in Amsterdam. Currently they are evidence in a criminal case, which leads the anti-mafia of Naples. The return of cultural property to the homeland will be agreed at the international level, said RIA Novosti in the Ministry of culture of Italy.