AAn art squad led by Italian police has recovered a $7 million Renaissance artwork almost 20 years after it was illegally transported to Switzerland.
According to the police, two Swiss citizens are currently under investigation for the transport of “Portrait of a Man with a Beret” by Tiziano Vecellio, also known as Titian. It was discovered in Italy’s Asti area of Piedmont during restoration, having been missing since 2004.
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Born in Italy, Titian studied art in Venice with Sebastiano Zuccato and Gentile Bellini. He achieved fame during his lifetime, being commissioned for an altarpiece in a church and a cabinet in a duke’s personal castle.
I #carabinieri delete #TPC Hanno sequestrato e restituito allo Stato il dipinto “Ritratto di gentiluomo con berretto nero” attributito al grande pittore rinascimentale Tiziano Vecellio. L’opera, che si riteneva perduta, was stata esportata illegalmente in Svizzera vent’anni fa pic.twitter.com/HREH9vfCrC
— Arma dei Carabinieri (@_Carabinieri_) May 19, 2022
Italy founded its art group Comando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale in 1969 to combat the illegal trade in works of art. Today 280 officers are deployed.
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Later, in 1980, it set up a database called Leonardo to keep track of all the missing artworks. As of 2020 there was 1.1 million pieces uploaded to the database. There are currently an app in English and Italian that allows users to upload images of artworks to see if a piece is in the database or not.