Rabat - A masterpiece valued at EUR six million was handed back to Italy on Saturday after being stolen in 2014 from Saint Vincent of Modena church, said Morocco’s News Agency (MAP).
Rabat – A masterpiece valued at EUR six million was handed back to Italy on Saturday after being stolen in 2014 from Saint Vincent of Modena church, said Morocco’s News Agency (MAP).
The 16th century painting titled, “The Virgin, Saint John the Evangelist and Gregory the Thaumaturge,” was found in Casablanca in February.
The painting was handed to the Italian ambassador to Morocco, Roberto Natali, by the Prefecture de Police de Casablanca on Saturday, MAP added.
Three suspects were arrested after an attempt to sell the masterpiece to a rich Moroccan entrepreneur in Casablanca for a price of EUR 940,000. The man [entrepreneur] contacted the authorities when he recognized the value of the painting.
The alleged perpetrator of the theft, a Moroccan national, has been arrested in Italy and will be extradited to Morocco.
The 2.93 m by 1.84 m masterpiece was stolen in August 2014 from the church of St. Vincent of Modena. The masterpiece is estimated by experts to be valued somewhere between EUR five and six million.
The Moroccan and Italian authorities have collaborated to “ensure that the masterpiece goes back to Italy as quickly as possible.”
For his part, the Italian ambassador has conveyed his gratitude to the Moroccan authorities and highlighted the great cultural value of the restored painting.