Italy police recover $8.4m worth of stolen church art

Sep 13 2017 - 4:20pm

Stolen religious art worth 8.4 million dollars (7 million euros), including a 500-year-old Flemish altarpiece, has been recovered by Italian police.

The Flemish school painting dated 1520 and depicting Jesus’ crucifixion, was stolen from a religious institute in Mons, Belgium, in 1990, the Carabinieri art heritage police said on Wednesday.

Art heritage squad commander, Fabrizio Parrulli, said other significant findings, mostly from central and southern Italy, included a 16th century marble Madonna and child statue, nicked from a Naples church.

Dozens of recovered pieces, including statues, paintings, golden and silver reliquaries and cups, were put on display at the Carabinieri’s Rome headquarters before being returned to their original locations.

Parrulli said 20 members of a criminal group based in Naples were reported for prosecution.

He said investigations are ongoing and more suspects may be identified.

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