CULTURE & ARTS
04/06/2014 12:38 pm ET Updated Apr 06, 2014

Stolen Paintings Found 40 Years Later

A Paul Gauguin still life recovered by authorities, is displayed during a press conference in Rome, Wednesday, April 2, 2014.
A Paul Gauguin still life recovered by authorities, is displayed during a press conference in Rome, Wednesday, April 2, 2014. A Paul Gauguin still life stolen from a wealthy collector's home in Britain decades ago has been recovered after hanging for 40 years in a Sicilian autoworker's kitchen. The worker bought the painting along with one of lesser value by another French artist, Pierre Bonnard, for about $100 at a 1975 Italian state railway auction of unclaimed lost items, said Maj. Massimiliano Quagliarella of the paramilitary Carabinieri art theft squad. Italian authorities on Wednesday estimated the still life's worth in a range from 10 million euros to 30 million euros ($14 million to $40 million). "The painting, showing fruit, seemed to fit in with dining room decor," Quagliarella told The Associated Press about the now-retired autoworker's choice of placement in his kitchen, first in Turin, then in Sicily. The painting is believed to have "traveled" on a Paris-to-Turin train before it was found by railway personnel who put it in the lost-and-found depot, said Gen. Mariano Mossa. After the autoworker retired to Sicily, the man's son, who studied architecture at university, noticed a telling detail: a dog curled up in the corner. Dogs were sometimes a signature motif for Gauguin's work. (AP Photo/Daniele Leone, Lapresse)

Italian authorities manage to recover two French masterpieces after they were stolen from a London home in 1970.

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