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Artwork worth € 1.2 million stolen in Italy

Thieves absconded with nearly 50 gold sculptures and pieces of jewelry

Almost 20 statues and 30 pieces of jewelry worth €1.2 million ($1.3 million) have been stolen from an exhibition near Lake Garda, Italy, the Vittoriale degli Italiani estate, which hosted the display, told journalists.

The stolen works were designed and forged by one of the greatest Italian sculptors of the 20th century, Umberto Mastroianni, who is also known for his huge monuments; they were made between the 1950s and his death in 1998.

The massive heist occurred on Wednesday, two days before the closing of the exhibition, called “Like a warm, flowing gold,” which opened in late December. The investigations into the heist are ongoing.

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“Uomo/Donna” (Man/Woman), one of the art pieces, all of which were cast of pure gold, was later found inside the exhibition complex’s grounds, but the whereabouts of the other 48 pieces remain unknown, according to the estate spokesperson.

Giordano Bruno Guerri, the head of the estate, said “our alarm systems are very extensive and already of the highest level,” adding “we were evidently hit by a highly specialized gang.”

Commenting on the incident, Lorenzo Zichichi, president of the Centre for Studies of the Works of Umberto Mastroianni, said “these exceptional artefacts, true ‘wearable sculptures’, represent the most important testimony of the master’s gold production,” adding that a failed investigation could lead to the “inestimable loss” of almost the entire collection, which belonged to his relatives.

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March 10, 2024 at 05:17PM

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