Stolen Gauguin and Bonnard found in Italy (ctd.)

January 29 2015

Image of Stolen Gauguin and Bonnard found in Italy (ctd.)

Picture: Guardian

I mentioned back in December the case of two paintings stolen in London in 1970, a Gauguin and a Bonnard, which surfaced in Italy. Italian police said could that although there was no doubt the paintings were stolen, they could be kept by a fellow named only as 'Nicolo', who had innocently bought them from a lost property auction in Turin for about twenty quid in 1975. Apparently, Italian law says that if you own something which is nicked, but you don't know it's nicked, you can keep it after ten years have elapsed. Bizarrely, if you do know it's nicked, then you just have wait a bit longer until it's legtimately yours - 20 years.

Anyway, when the case first came to light, it was announced that the original owner, or nobody from their estate, was around to lay claim to the paintings. So 'Nicolo' was free to sell the paintings, and pocket his windfall.

But not so veloce Nicolo! Now, Ivan Macquisten in the Antiques Trade Gazette, says that a claim has been made at the last minute by the heir of the original owners, Mathilda Marks and Terence Kennedy. It looks entirely plausible. Full details here.  

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