Admin l Friday, September 16, 2022
WASHINGTON – Working in conjunction with the Italian security agency, Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale translated – protection of cultural heritage – the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI has returned two major 16th century tapestry to Italy.
A tapestry is a piece of thick textile fabric with pictures or designs formed by weaving coloured weft threads or by embroidering on canvas, used as a wall hanging or soft furnishing.
According to FBI, one of the works depicts return of the “Ark of the Covenant”, while the others is that of a noble coat of arms.
The FBI Art Crime Team has returned several pieces of historical artwork back to the Italian government.
The Carabinieri, conducts searches for Italian art and cultural properties taken out of the country in the United States and other places.
“Last year, an online publication featured a restored historical home in Florida. One of the photos showed a 16th century tapestry—missing since it was stolen in 1995. The Italians flagged the photo for the FBI’s liaison in Rome, as they believed the piece rightfully belonged to Italy”, the FBI said.
“The Italian government and the U.S. government work very closely on art crime matters, and we’ve been doing so for years,” said Special Agent Marc Gervasi of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, who worked this case. “We’ve had a lot of success in repatriating items stolen from Italy, and Italy helps the FBI with investigations in significant ways.”
Gervasi and his colleagues approached the owner, who had bought the tapestry 22 years prior, and explained that the piece belonged to Italy and that it had been stolen before the current owner bought it. The owner graciously agreed to return it.
The owner purchased the stolen piece for $27,000.
“They could’ve said talk to my attorney, or Italy can talk to my attorney,” Gervasi said. “It could’ve been a battle, but they chose to help law enforcement. They really wanted it to go back to the original owner.”