Stolen Leonardo da Vinci returned to Italy

Posted filed underArt Theft, News, Old Masters.

The painting – on a small wooden panel measuring 115x86cm – was last seen in public 73 years ago on the eve of World War II, when it was shown at a Leonardo exhibition in Milan. Then it disappeared.”

The Telegraph: ” The work, which consists of a panel known as the Tavola Doria, depicts a scene from the famous Battle of Anghiari of 1440 in which Florence and its allies defeated troops from Milan during the Wars in Lombardy.

It was believed to be part of a mysterious painting known as the ‘Lost Leonardo’ which Da Vinci is believed to have painted on a wall of Palazzo Vecchio, the medieval town hall in the heart of Florence, in 1505.

The Tavola Doria went on display this week at the Quirinale Palace, the official residence of President Giorgio Napolitano and shows four soldiers on horseback locked in furious combat.

“A universally recognised masterpiece has returned to Italy’s possession,” Mr Napolitano said in a statement.
Italian art police say after the panel was stolen from its owners in Naples it passed through a Swiss art dealer, before being sent to Germany for restoration in the 1960s.

The artwork then travelled to a New York art gallery before ending up in Japan where it was eventually bought by the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum in 1992.

The Japanese museum agreed to send it back to Italy after lengthy negotiations and an arrangement which will give it joint access to the work for 26 years. ”

More at The Telegraph.