Bologna, 5 June 2021 – Confiscated, i.e. stolen, in Italy by the Nazis led by the Kunstschutz nucleus, the protectors of art, by Hermann Goering, in the shadow of a spy story with secret agents of the East and final of women and seduction, eight precious sixteenth-century paintings they traveled from Europe to South America and back, ending up at the National Museum in Belgrade. In the turbulence of the postwar period they were considered missing like hundreds of other works of art that the fat Nazi, Goering, grabbed in half of Europe to bring them together in a museum in the shadow of the swastika in Berlin.
Art theft: the tireless seekers: “Our war on thieves”
This was the fate of eight paintings, including a Tintoretto, a Carpaccio and a Titian which then reappeared in 2018 in an exhibition at the Pinacoteca di Bologna. With judicial aftermath that ended in nothing for four ministerial officials. Now the paintings, whose wandering sequence was traced by the hounds of the Cultural Protection Nucleo of the Carabinieri, they will return to Italy. The Minister of Cultural Heritage, Dario Franceschini, and his Serbian counterpart, have found an agreement: the eight canvases, stolen from Florence, will return even with times and methods to be defined and a loan system in Belgrade, but certifies that they are a italian heritage.
The Allied Monuments Men, the recoverers of stolen works of art, entrusted them to the Munich Collection Center. We are in 1949. A Slav secret agent, Ante Topic, codenamed Mimara, trafficked to make them appear as property of Yugoslavia Titina. As in the best spy tradition, there was a woman involved. Mimara seduced a German art historian in the service of the Allies, who claimed that the paintings belonged to Yugoslavia.
The canvases disappeared and the two lovebirds disappeared and then got married. Before finishing the paintings in Belgrade they traveled again to Argentina, then returned via Belgium. And silence fell. And Mimara, it seems, also made a personal gain. Then it came the Bologna exhibition, “From Carpaccio to Canaletto”. A carabiniere of the artistic nucleus accustomed to scrutinizing exhibitions and art galleries noticed the paintings stolen by Goering. Now Italy is waiting to re-embrace the Madonna with child del Tintoretto, the San Sebastian by Vittore Carpaccio, il Portrait of Christina of Denmark by Titian and the other five masterpieces.
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