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  • Stolen art worth €1.5m recovered in Italy
    September 16, 2005

    Authorities have recovered works of art worth €1.5m that had been stolen from churches, castles and private homes throughout northern Italy since 1990, the Carabinieri paramilitary police said today.

    The 19 paintings and one 18th-century kneeling-stool were discovered at the home of a farmer near the city of Cremona, about 62 miles south-west of Milan, officials said.

    The 59-year-old man is charged with receiving stolen goods and has been co-operating with authorities to identify accomplices, said Capt. Andrea Ilari, with the Carabinieri’s art theft squad in the nearby city of Monza.

    The art found at the man’s home includes two paintings by 20th-century artist Carlo Fornara, which investigators said were stolen last year.

    Officials said much of the art appeared to have been stolen from the Thun Castle in the Trentino-Alto Adige region, about about 30 miles south of Bolzano.

    Among the most valuable works recovered were a 17th-century painting of Saint Jeremiah by Pietro Ligari, stolen in 1995 from a church; and Ecce Homo, by 16th-century painter Denys Calvaert, which had been stolen from a home near the northern city of Varese, officials said.

    Ilari said in a statement that the Lombardy region, which includes Milan, “has the most important market for high-level stolen art”.