Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Stolen Gauguin found in Italian pensioner's kitchen

Published on Apr 3, 2014 12:20 AM

ROME (AFP) - Italy on Wednesday said it had recovered a painting worth millions of euros by Paul Gauguin, stolen in London in 1970, bought by an Italian factory worker for a pittance and hung in his kitchen for almost 40 years.

The artist's "Fruit on a table or small dog" was stolen from a house in the British capital along with "Woman with two chairs" by fellow Frenchman Pierre Bonnard, and they were recovered together in Italy from the pensioner, who used to work for Italian auto giant Fiat.

The Gauguin painting is worth between 10 and 30 million euros ($17 and $52 million) while the Bonnard is valued at some 600,000 euros, Italy's heritage police said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The paintings turned up in a lost property department at a train station and were sold at auction in 1975 to a worker for Italian auto giant Fiat, who bought them for 45,000 Italian lire, or 23 euros.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!