Showing posts with label Corsica. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Corsica. Show all posts

November 8, 2012

Palais Fesch Art Theft Update: Security guard and bartender sentenced to four and two years, respectively

Palais Fesch in Adjaccio, Corsica
On October 26, 2012, two men received prison sentences of two and for years for stealing four paintings from the Palais Fesch in Corsica on February 19, 2011.

Antoine Mocellini, one of the security guards at the museum,  confessed to police that he had taken the Italian paintings as leverage in improving his living quarters, but then lost the paintings before he could return them (see blog post here).  In May 2012, the paintings were recovered in a car at a parking lot north of Adjaccio (see blog post here).

The online publication Le Journal de Arts reported last week that Mocellini was sentenced to five years in prison with one year suspended and prohibited from practicing his profession for another five years.  Mocellini's alleged accomplice, bar manager Christian Andarelli, suspected of having transported the paintings, was sentenced to two years in prison.

May 9, 2012

Reuters: "Poussin among stolen art found in Corsica carpark"

Fesch Palais, Corsica
Reuters reported May 5th that the four paintings stolen from the Fesch museum in Corsica more than one year ago have been found parked in a car on the island.

An anonymous phone call alerted the police to the location of the paintings, according to Reuters.

Poussin's "Midas at the Source
 of the River Pactolus"
The four paintings include Nicolas Poussin's "Midas at the Source of the River Pactolus"; Giovanni Bellini's "Virgin and Child"; an anonymous Umbrian artist's "Virgin with Child in a glory of Seraphins"; and Mariotto di Nardo's "Pentecost".

You may read about the February 2011 theft here on the ARCA blog. The theft had been reported as two parts: first a security guard in financial trouble removed the paintings from the museum, then someone else lifted them from his car.

February 24, 2011

ARTINFO reports Security Guard Stole Paintings from Corsican Museum for Ransom -- Only to Lose Them to Other Thieves

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin

ARTINFO France reported today (Feb. 23) in an article, "Desperate Museum Guard Holds Renaissance Masterpieces For Ransom, Only to Have Them Stolen From His Car," that a security guard from Corsica's Fine Arts Museum in the Palais Fesch stole four paintings, submitted his ransom demand for housing through a local television station, and when he led police to his car, discovered that the window had been smashed and that the four paintings had been stolen from his car.

The security guard is a divorced father without a criminal record who was facing eviction from his apartment. ARTINFO reports:
Mocellini had served as a security guard some 20 years at Ajaccio's Fine Arts Museum, an institution known to have the second-largest collection of Italian paintings in France, surpassed only by the Louvre. When he finished his shift on Saturday morning, he absconded with one French painting and three Italian Renaissance works from the famed collection: Poussin's "King Midas at the source of the Pactole River," Bellini's "Virgin and Child," Mariotto di Nardo's "Pentecost," and an anonymous Umbrian artist's "Virgin and Child."
The Palais Fesch musée des beaux-arts, which reopened in June after a two-year 7 million euro renovation, houses one of France's most important art collections, second to the Louvre in Italian paintings. The four paintings, like most of the collection, were once in the Rome collection of Cardinal Joseph Fesch, one of the most important art collectors of his generation (1763-1839) and a Bonaparte supporter. During Fesch's lifetime, he owned 16,000 paintings, mostly Italian Renaissance paintings, and donated many works to his native city of Adjaccio upon his death.

Unfortunately, each of the stolen works was the museum's sole representation of that artist at the Adjaccio museum. Nicholas Poussin's "King Midas at the Source of the Pactole River" is a 17th century French oil on canvas measuring 58 x 82 centimeters; Giovanni Bellini's "Virgin and Child" is a 15th century tempura on wood measuring 65 x 46,5 centimeters; Mariotto di Nardo's "Pentecost" is a 15th century tempera on wood measuring 47 x 28 centimeters; the "Virgin and the Infant in the glory of the seraphins" by a 16th century Umbrian painter is a tempera on wood measuring 53 x 34 centimeters.

Photos: Clockwise: Poussin's "Midas"; Anonymous Umbrian Painter's "Virgin and the Infants in the glory of the seraphins"; Bellini's "Virgin and Child"; and Mariotto di Nardo's "Pentecost"; lower right is the Fresch Palais in Adjaccio, Corsica.