CLEVELAND — An Italian mayor the place a 16th century altarpiece was stolen in 1905 explained to Information 5 a thrust is underway to retrieve what they consider is the missing masterpiece, at the moment located in Cleveland, Ohio.
“It has come to be an vital problem for our town and for our group,” Figline Valderno mayor Guilia Mugnai reported. “It is a part of our collective memory, so it would be incredibly significant to us to have it back.”
Final thirty day period, a Information 5 investigation highlighted the resemblance involving a Benedetto Buglioni altarpiece on show at the Cleveland Museum of Artwork and a Benedetto Buglioni artifact detailed in Italy’s database of illegally stolen cultural assets, operate by the Carabinieri, a single of Italy’s principal regulation enforcement businesses.
Considering the fact that then, various global information shops cited News 5’s report and renewed curiosity in the altarpiece’s return.
“It has received a great deal of attention from our persons here and also from citizens all above Tuscany,” Mugnai stated. “We have the impact it is the very same piece of artwork thoroughly and fully equivalent to the one particular who was stolen with just tiny distinctions, possibly since of the requirement to not make the masterpiece recognizable.”
Newspaper articles from 1905 emphasize how a Buglioni altarpiece was stolen 1 night from a chapel in Ponte Agli Stolli, a village in Tucsany regarded as Figline Valdarno which is a lot less than an hour south of Florence.
“For generations, households have handed down tales, legends and devotional practices towards the Virgin Mary and the Saints depicted in the bas-reduction,” Mugnai included. “The memory of the theft itself also turned aspect of the oral tradition, the youngest understanding it from their grandparents’ reminiscences.”
Benedetto Buglioni’s “Virgin with Boy or girl Enthroned with Saints Francis and Giovanni Gualberto” stands just about 6 toes tall and can be located in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Italian Renaissance exhibit.
Investigation performed by the museum highlights how Cleveland Museum of Artwork founder Jeptha Homer Wade II acquired the piece in 1921 soon after it was earlier owned by a German artwork dealer from 1911 to 1914 and confiscated by the French government.
When it will come to a achievable restoration of the artwork, Mugnai informed News 5 that Italy’s Ministry of Culture would need to be the agency to formally request its return, due to the fact the municipality of Figline Valdarno is not the proprietor of the operate.
“Even so, we would welcome the likelihood for our community to admire the bas-aid in these destinations that have hosted it for centuries,” she additional. “We are incredibly interested in having back again this these bas-relief and we are waiting for an respond to from the minister.”
In a translated statement, a spokesperson with the ministry sent the next assertion:
“The investigation is even now private and for that reason it is not feasible to difficulty statements.”
News 5 arrived at out to the Cleveland Museum of Artwork soon after the initial report and a spokesperson reiterated their earlier statement:
“The museum has had cordial interactions with the Italian authorities and has no indication that this is a pending problem for them.”