Stolen Lelio Orsini returned to Italy

May 14 2012

Image of Stolen Lelio Orsini returned to Italy

Picture: TM News

Last year, I reported on the seizure by a US court of the above Leda and the Swan by Lelio Orsi (above). The picture had been illegally exported out of Italy, but nevertheless was sold by Sotheby's in New York for $1.5m in 2008 [the online auction page has been removed]. Now, after the pictures were returned to the Italian government, it turns out that the picture had not only been smuggled into the US with false documentation, but looted too (tho' we are not told from where). Stealing pictures from one country and smuggling them into another is one thing. But then selling them at public auction - that's really dumb.

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