Italy

It is hard to overstate the gravity of the Castelvecchio art thefts

Le Opere Da Non Perdere’, reads a link on the Museo di Castelvecchio website. And if you click through, a gallery displays images of 20 works that must not to be missed on a visit to the museum in Verona. Except six of these highlights can no longer be accounted for. They were among the 17 paintings stolen from Castelvecchio on the evening of 19 November, making for a bleak roll-call of losses: Pisanello, Madonna of the Quail; Jacopo Bellini, Penitent St Jerome; Mantegna, Holy Family with a Saint; Gian Francesco Caroto, Portrait of a Young Boy Holding a Child’s Drawing; Rubens, Lady of the Campions; Hans de Jode, Seaport.

Opere da non perdere. Works not to miss. And works not to lose, either. It is hard to overstate the gravity of this theft for both the museum – one of the finest civic collections in northern Italy – and for an Italian museum sector that has, under the recent reforms of culture minister Dario Franceschini, been tasked with putting its house in order.

Italy retrieves three works looted from Tuscan villa by the Nazis

Italian authorities have recovered three 15th-century paintings looted by Nazi troops from a Tuscan villa during the Second World War. The works—a Madonna with Child attributed to Cima da Conegliano, the Trinity by Alessio Baldovinetti and the Presentation of Jesus to the Temple by Girolamo dai Libri—were unveiled on 18 April at the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, where they have been temporarily assigned for safekeeping.

In 1939, a year after Italy introduced its anti-Jewish racial laws, the Fascist government under Benito Mussolini created an agency to acquire, manage and resell property confiscated from the Jews. Its remit was extended to enemy citizens after Italy entered the Second World War in alliance with Nazi Germany in 1940. Known as EGELI, the organisation took possession of the assets of prince Félix of Bourbon-Parma, the grand duke of Luxembourg, in August that year. Among them were the paintings from the prince’s art collection at Villa delle Pianore in Camaiore, Tuscany.

Stolen artefacts stashed by British art dealer are returned to Italy

Italian and Swiss police have recovered priceless archaeological artefacts stolen from Italy and stored by a notorious British antiquities dealer, Italy’s culture ministry has said.

The haul, worth €9m (£7.1m), was discovered in 2014 in a storage unit at the Geneva Freeport warehouse complex in Switzerland rented by the disgraced art dealer Robin Symes, a giant in the illegal antiquities trade with ties to Italian tomb raiders.