Stolen Greek icons found on Dutch website

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The Greek authorities discovered icons stolen from a church in Greece in 2009 on the website of a Dutch art dealer who claims he didn’t know they were stolen.

The seven Greek icons, with values ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 euro, were seized by the police in April last year, placed in the Rijksmuseum for safe keeping, and handed over to the Greek Ministry of Culture on December 5, 2011. They date from the 18th and 19th centuries and play an important part in the country’s cultural and historical heritage.

The police explain that works of art are usually sold many years after they have been stolen, and so this discrepancy probably makes it sound like the dealer could be telling the truth. I’ve been told there are international sites to check and see if works or art have been stolen and then I would imagine that the dealer was not very knowledgeable in icons or is not telling the truth.

Even Wikipedia has a page of stolen works of art, with a few Dutch ones as well.

(Link: Trouw.nl, photo: politie.nl)

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