July 9, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Italy has long been the cradle of the art world. Because of this, art thieves and illegal traders of precious works consider it a special place. But their crime comes at a price. This year, the Italian police working with Interpol has recovered some 3,000 pieces of art, including paintings, sculptures and archaeological objects.Pasquale Muggeo
Commander, Police for the Protection of Cultural Heritage “There are about 3,000 objects from the black market which, unfortunately, shows a disregard for any vestige of the past. The archaeological objects recovered from tomb raiders shows they used bulldozers. If there were no intervention they would have continued to devastate and destroy these testimonies of the past.”
Among the objects recovered is this statue of King David from 1488, made by the architect and sculptor Roberto Moffiolo. It was stolen from the apse of the Parma cathedral in northern Italy and is valued around one million dollars. Msgr. Enrico Solmi
Bishop of Parma (Italy)
“It was stolen in 1979 and we lost hope that we would see it again. But fortunately they found it this year! It was worth a lot of money in the black market because it's very beautiful and of a size, that you could say is ideal.”
Among the recovered art, were these monumental pieces: This amphora from 525 BC and this wine cup known as a Kylix, both by the famous pottery-maker Tleson, they're valued over 700,000 dollars.Pasquale Muggeo
Commander, Police for the Protection of Cultural Heritage
“These recoveries were made possible by a major investigation of the judicial police, which from a small piece of evidence, just a fragment of a fingerprint, were able to catch those responsible and bring them to justice.”
The police commander in charge of recovering the artwork says the number of robberies has gone down by 15% over the past year, thanks in part to their cataloging a large number of artwork they now track in a database.
Criminals will also soon be facing stiffer penalties in Italy for stealing. Many of these pieces of art that were once thought to be lost forever are now receiving new safeguards so that everyone can appreciate them.