Palermo – The image of Santa Caterina, part of the painting Santa Caterina da Siena, stolen on 4 October 2004 by the Istituto Opera Pia Pignatelli Gulì in Palermo will be returned. It will be the commander of the nucleus for the protection of the cultural heritage of Naples, Major Giampaolo Brasili, to deliver the image to the director of the office for ecclesiastical cultural heritage of Palermo, Don Giuseppe Bucaro.
The painting will be delivered at 4.30 pm at the Diocese headquarters, in the presence of Archbishop Corrado Lorefice. The investigations were initiated following the report of theft presented by a Neapolitan antique dealer: the carabinieri for the protection of cultural heritage have ascertained that the complaint was, in reality, a system to get back into possession of the goods that he himself had previously placed in business.
The military has also confiscated many goods from 12 different thefts, which took place in private homes and places of worship throughout Italy. In the course of the investigations, 4,000 archaeological finds including vases and coins were also seized. Of fundamental importance for the identification of the precious painting was the comparison of the images with those contained in the “Data bank of illegally stolen cultural assets”, managed by the police command, which made it possible to identify the work in the one stolen from Palermo.