400 Artworks Rediscovered in 'Abandoned' Castle Basement

May 4 2021

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Bizarre news from Italy this evening.

400 artworks dating from the fifteenth to twentieth centuries have been rediscovered in an 'abandoned basement' of Maschio Angioino (Castel Nuovo), near Naples. It is believed that the works were moved there after the Iripina earthquake of 1980 and were simply forgotten. The basement and works were recently rediscovered after surveys were made of the building after a spell of bad weather.

The Italian press claim that works by Luca Giordano, Francesco De Mura, Paolo De Matteis, Giuseppe Bonito, Onofrio Avellino and Jacopo Cestaro are amongst the works that have been found. Alas, it also suggests that most are in a perilous state to due the poor conditions and humidity in the basement. This is said to include Luca Giordano's Madonna del Rosario with Dominican saints, a large work measuring 4 x 2.6 metres.*

Administrators in the region are currently working on a plan to have the works saved and conserved. Some members of the Italian Parliament have been calling for an enquiry into exactly why no inventory of the works existed and what can be done to remedy the sorry situation of the paintings.

* - Presumably not this version recorded in the Galleria Napoletana (Museo di Capodimonte) (?)

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