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Guercino painting stolen from a church in Modena was found in Casablanca

February 21, 2017

 

"Madonna with the Saints John the Evangelist and Gregory the Wonderworker", by the painter Giovanni Francesco Barbieri called "Guercino", was stolen from the Church of San Vincenzo in Modena between 10 and 13 August 2014. The large painting, oil on canvas, measuring approximately 293 cm by 185 cm and dating back to 1639, was found in a working-class neighborhood of Casablanca, Morocco, as communicated by Interpol on the evening of 15 February 2017. Three dealers had offered the canvas for sale, for a sum of €900.000, to a rich Moroccan businessman, who recognized the value of the painting and reported the fences. The Moroccan police immediately notified the Italian authorities of the recovery of a large canvas that could be identified with a stolen Italian painting. The information, kept in the Interpol database, had to be verified. The Carabinieri Art Squad, through their own stolen works database, recognized the painting to be "Madonna with the Saints John the Evangelist and Gregory the Wonderworker", property of the Roman Curia. The Carabinieri Art Squad then confirmed to their colleagues in Rabat, Morocco, the identification of the painting and its theft, which occurred more than two years ago in Italy. The recovery of the painting is the result of the uninterrupted Carabinieri Art Squad detective work, coordinated by the Public Prosecution Office of Modena. MiBACT (Ministry of Cultural Heritage) and MAECI (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) have already taken action to repatriate the painting as soon as possible.

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