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Recovery of stolen masterpiece a big win for authorities

Veneziano panel found in residence of a former German soldier

12 March, 20:28
Recovery of stolen masterpiece a big win for authorities (ANSA) - Venice, March 12 - The recovery of a stolen 14th-century masterpiece by Venetian painter Paolo Veneziano demonstrates the validity of tools currently available to law enforcement agencies, a state prosecutor said Tuesday.

Commenting the recovery from Germany on Monday of a stolen panel painted by Veneziano between 1335-1345, state prosecutor Giampiero Schiesaro said: "The defense of the common good becomes a priority for (Italy), because through this matter we demonstrated the possibility, through currently available instruments, to sequester artwork stolen from Italy since 1909".

The crucifix-shaped panel, measuring 280 by 250 centimeters and depicting Christ with the Virgin and Saint John on the arms with an angel up above, was uncovered last year in an ex-soldier's private residence in Germany by local authorities.

It was smuggled abroad by Germans from the Church of San Pantaleone in Venice, to where it was returned Monday.