It will be returned to the Teutonic Order of the Italian Province of South Tyrol
UDINE. The Carabinieri of the Cultural Heritage Protection Unit of Udine will return to the Teutonic Order of the Italian Province of Alto Adige a 17th century painting, including a gold leaf frame, recovered at the end of an investigation coordinated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Bolzano, launched after a check carried out on an online auction catalog relating to a commercial establishment in the Autonomous Province.
The painting, an oil on canvas measuring 101×80 cm, depicting the biblical scene of the circumcision of Jesus / presentation in the Temple, by an unknown artist, intended for sale on behalf of a private resident in the Atesino capital, had aroused the immediate interest of military due to the presence on the back of distinctive signs attributable to the Hospitium of the Teutonic Commenda of Vipiteno, a structure for welcoming pilgrims – managed by the Teutonic Knights – active between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries, when, following the Napoleonic occupation of Tyrol southern, was closed.
The investigation then made it possible to ascertain that the painting was illegally removed by unknown persons in the turbulent period between 1807 and 1809 and then became available to a Bolzano antique dealer between the 60s and 80s of the last century.
Following an inheritance bequest, the asset was merged into the patrimony and therefore into the auction. The private individual unaware of the illicit origin of the canvas collaborated with the Carabinieri of the Nucleo to facilitate the judicial process.
The work will be delivered to the Prior Provincial of the Order Arnold Wieland next Sunday at the Church of San Giorgio in Weggenstein during the 7pm Holy Mass by the Commander of the Unit Lorenzo Pella.