Italian group crusades for purloined Holy Night painting

  • May 17, 2010 13:49

  • Email
Caravaggio's "Nativity with Saints Francis and Lawrence" was stolen from the San Lorenzo oratory, Palermo, in 1969.

Forty years ago, a manger scene, depicting Mary and baby Jesus flanked by saints, painted in 1609 by Caravaggio, was swiped from a Sicilian chapel.

Extroart, an art recovery organization founded by Italian Ludovico Gippetto, is focused on finding this Renaissance masterpiece. The painting has not been seen since 1969.

Likely lifted by the Mafia, "Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence" is now on a postcard emblazoned with the word "Wanted" sent throughout Italy and worldwide to embassies and institutions.

Gippetto hopes the publicity might yield the painting, perhaps hidden in an unsuspecting Sicilian granny's attic or somewhere abroad.

In March, another Caravaggio, the Taking of Christ (Judas’ Kiss), stolen in 2008 from the Museum of Western and Eastern Art in Odessa, Ukraine, was recovered after appearing in a Moscow-based internet auction for $2 million. Experts value that painting at $100 million.

About 50,000 works of art are stolen each year; only 10% are ever recovered. Organized crime takes in $6 billion a year in illicit art trading on the black market and as collateral for drugs and arms.

According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, art crime is the third most profitable criminal enterprise behind drugs and arms trafficking.

Read more at Deutsche Welle

  • Email

More News Feed Headlines

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) Sunset, 1830-5.

After 13 Years, ARTFIXdaily to Cease Daily News Service

  • ArtfixDaily / August 15th, 2022

ARTFIXdaily will end weekday e-newsletter service after 13 years of publishing art world press releases, events and ...

Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Critical Mass, 2002 (Courtesy of the Cheech Marin Collection and Riverside Art Museum).

Inaugural Exhibition at The Cheech Highlights Groundbreaking Chicano Artists

  • ArtfixDaily / July 7th, 2022

One of the nation’s first permanent spaces dedicated to showcasing Chicano art and culture opened on June ...

Jacob Lawrence,.  .  .  is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?—Patrick Henry,1775 , Panel 1, 1955, from Struggle: From the History of the American People, 1954–56, egg tempera on hardboard.  Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross.  © 2022 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Crystal Bridges Explores the U.S. Constitution Through Art in New Exhibition 'We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy'

  • ArtfixDaily / July 7th, 2022

Original print of the U.S. Constitution headlines exhibition sponsored by Ken Griffin (who purchased it for $43.2 ...

Salvador Dalí (1904–1989), Christ of St John of the Cross, 1951, oil on canvas © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Dalí / El Greco Side-by-Side Exhibit Prompts: 'Are They Really Paintings of the Same Thing?'

  • ArtfixDaily / July 6th, 2022

From July 9 to December 4, 2022, The Auckland Project in the U.K. will unite two Spanish masterpieces from British ...


Related Press Releases

Related Events

Goto Calendar