Stolen 19th Century Painting Found in Texas
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary was painted back in 1851 by Italian artist Giuseppe Pappini. The painting was stolen back in 2002, when it was looted from the Abbey of Santa Maria in Sylvis in Sesto al Reghena, Italy. It had been missing ever since. But a tip that came in helped the stolen painting be found in Texas. Apparently the person who owned the picture didn't realize it was stolen. Ummm, that doesn't exactly seem on the level to me, but that's what is being reported.
Agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, who are specially trained in tracking down and investigating stolen cultural heritage and art were able to locate the painting, and Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of HSI Dallas said:
Investigating the loss or looting of cultural heritage properties and returning them to their countries of origin is an important part of HSI’s diverse mission. Our specially trained investigators and attachés in more than 40 countries not only partner with governments, agencies and experts who share our mission to protect these items, but they train the investigators of other nations and agencies on how to find, authenticate and enforce the law to recover these items when they emerge in the marketplace.
I do have a legitimate question about this whole thing. They say the person who was in possession of the painting didn't know it was stolen. How? It's not like it's a movie poster they hand out at premieres. It's a famous painting that was stolen in 2002. If you have that much money or own it, or are that much in the know to be in possession of it, you can't really claim ignorance, can you?