Stolen Christ Church Painting Recovered in Romania

April 19 2024

Image of Stolen Christ Church Painting Recovered in Romania

Picture: BBC

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Breaking news this morning that one of the three stolen old masters from the Christ Church Picture Gallery in Oxford has been recovered by police in Romania. Salvator Rosa's A Rocky Coast was stolen during the covid crisis back in 2020 and has recently been handed in to the authorities in Bucharest.

According to reports:

Romanian police were contacted by a man in possession of the Rosa painting, who had sold on the other two artworks in the country. [...]

The man chose to return the Rosa painting, which dates to the late 1640s, to the authorities and has been treated as a witness. He has not been arrested.

It was recovered by Thames Valley Police and the gallery's curator, Jacqueline Thalmann, in Bucharest last month. [...]

Thames Valley Police's Det Ch Insp James Mather said officers were working with Eurojust and Europol to gather further intelligence, including forensic analysis, into where the other two artworks were.

He said officers had a "significant forensic harvest" from the recovered painting, which now needs to be analysed.

But he said he was "optimistic" it could provide police with some lines of inquiry.

Quite incredible to imagine that these two masterpieces are floating around in Romania at present, I wonder how much the alleged 'witness' sold them for?

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