Guercino stolen in Italy

August 16 2014

Image of Guercino stolen in Italy

Picture: Gazzetta del Sud

The above painting by Guercino, a 1639 Madonna with Sts John the Evangelist and Gregory Thaumaturgus has been stolen from a church in Modena, in Italy. The picture, thought to be worth about £5m, is large, 293 x 184.5 cm, and was removed in its frame, which can hardly have been the work of a moment. Gazzetta del Sud reports that was uninsured, and the alarm system had been turned off, because 'it was expensive to keep up.' 

In my experience, alarms (even fancy art ones) don't cost much to run at all after they're installed. This particular alarm had been installed in the early 2000s. Incompetence or an inside job? Or simply another example of the chaos of Italian heritage protection?

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