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Nazi paintings in Belgrade, Italy wants them back

Nazi paintings in Belgrade, Italy wants them back

A book by journalists Romanin and Sinapi tells the story

BELGRADE, 21 marzo 2024, 15:43

Redazione ANSA



Eight renowned paintings belonging to the heritage of the Italian state are "prisoners of war" in Belgrade, on display in the halls of the Serbian National Museum: for many years, the Bologna prosecutor's office has been asking in vain for their return, after the carabinieri discovered by chance, and then reconstructed this incredible affair.
    Now a journalistic investigation reveals that the paintings that should be returned to Italy because they were illegally exported and then stolen from the Munich Collection Center, where the Allies had crammed all the artworks looted by the Nazis, are not just eight, but more than twice as many.
    The fraud, as the book "Spoils of War." (Mursia) by journalists Tommaso Romanin and Vincenzo Sinapi recounts, had been prepared for months and was committed in two days, on June 2 and June 10, 1949, when 50 paintings, 8 icons, and a large amount of ancient and precious objects, including carpets, tapestries, candelabras, coins, 166 items in all, left the Collecting point in Munich.
    Croatian businessman Ante Topic Mimara pulled off the heist with the collaboration of a young German official at the Center, Wiltrud Mersmann, who would shortly after that become his wife.
    The assets reached Yugoslavia by train and were forfeited by the National Museum in Belgrade.


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