The Carabinieri of the Cultural Heritage Protection unit of Cosenza return a 17th century painting seized during an investigation


By John

This morning at Palazzo Ragazzoni in Sacile (Pordenone), the Commander of the Carabinieri Unit for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Cosenza, delivered to a private citizen resident in the province of Pordenone, an oil on canvas painting recovered as part of investigative activities coordinated by the Public Prosecutor's Office of Parma. The event took place in the presence of the local authorities.

The investigation, which allowed the recovery of the painting, was conducted by the Carabinieri of the TPC Unit of Cosenza coordinated by the Public Prosecutor's Office of Parma, and originated from a control – aimed at combating the illicit commercialization of works of art – at the antiques event called “Mercantinfiera 2023”, held in Parma in October 2023. In an exhibition stand of an auction house, it was identified an oil on canvas painting dating back to the 17th century, depicting “Christ on the cross”, from a workshop/school in northern Italy. From the first checks carried out on the Database of Illicitly Stolen Cultural Heritage – an information tool, managed by the Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Rome, of fundamental importance for the investigative activity – the painting appeared to have been removed in 2015 from a private home in the province of Benevento. With the collaboration of the complainant, it was possible to confirm the furtive provenance of the painting in question which, therefore, was seized on the initiative. The AG of Parma, sharing the investigative findings collected, validated the seizure and subsequently ordered the release from seizure and return of the property to the rightful owner.

Today's restitution of the cultural asset is the result of complex activities, carried out in close synergy with the central and peripheral bodies of the Ministry of Culture, as well as the commitment and professionalism of women and men, military and civilian, highly specialized in the specific sector, which allowed three people, believed to be suspected of the crime of receiving cultural property, to be referred in a state of freedom to the competent Judicial Authority, as well as to recover and return the painting to the person entitled to it.