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Bishkek (AKIpress) - After more than 40 years, Italian police found two paintings belonging to an English collector in a home of a retired factory worker in Sicily, Deutsche Welle reported.
One of the paintings originated from the 19th century French Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin and has been identified as “Fruit on a Table with a Small Dog” (1889). The son of the painting's Sicilian owner, an architecture student, had contacted authorities after noticing similarities between the still life hanging on their kitchen wall and those listed in a catalog of Paul Gauguin's works. Experts said the second work – “Woman with Two Chairs” – was from French avant garde artist Pierre Bonnard.
The theft of the two artworks occurred in Britain in 1970. The paintings were transported to Italy, where they were found on an Italian train and subsequently placed in lost-and-found. Without knowing their significance, the Italian railway put them on auction in Turin in 1975 where their current owner purchased them for less than $270.
It was not immediately clear where the Gauguin and Bonnard would travel to next. Italian authorities contacted London's Scotland Yard about the recovered artworks in order to understand “if someone can legitimately lay claim to the ownership of the two paintings.”
The Gauguin painting has an estimated value of between $20 and $48 million, while the Bonnard was estimated at around $827,000.