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Italy: Rubens among 37 art works recovered 41 yrs after heist

last update: March 08, 17:21

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Rome, 8 March (AKI) - Italian art police in Rome on Thursday recovered 37 paintings including works by Flemish Peter Paul Rubens and Nicolas Poussin of France, more than 40 years after they were stolen from a businessman in Rome.

Police said the art produced between the 13th and 19th centuries is worth 7.5 million euros. Five paintings from the theft are still missing.

"It's one of the most important Italian art recoveries in the last two or three years," said Raffaele Mancino, who headed the operation.

The recovered booty included work by Italian artist Guido Reni and Flemish Antoon Van Dyck, both 17th century Baroque painters.

The stolen art came to the attention of police after some of the pieces were spotted in a catalogue published for an upcoming auction. They were to put up for sale by a women identified as M.F.

The owner at the time of the 1971 robbery has since died and the art will pass to his heirs.

Police are still trying to track down the remaining five works.

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