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01:55

Mystery solved: 'stolen' Klimt painting apparently found inside Italian gallery's walls

Italy, Piacenza
December 11, 2019 at 15:26 GMT +00:00 · Published

Police officers arrived at Piacenza's Ricci-Oddi modern art gallery on Wednesday to investigate the discovery of a painting by Gustav Klimt titled 'Portrait of a Lady' which was presumed to be stolen for almost 23 years.

A gardener found a bag containing the work of art inside a space within the walls while cleaning the gallery's yard. Footage released on Wednesday shows police cordoning off the opening in the wall.

Further analysis is underway to confirm the authenticity of the painting but excitement has been building up around the discovery.

"Not only the city of Piacenza, but the whole artistic and cultural community, will be able to have a big party because I think it is the greatest and most important gift that we could reserve for Christmas. Surely, it will also be a gift for tourism in Piacenza, on this we will work with the Ricci Oddi Gallery, to attract an increasingly attentive public to beauty, culture and art," said Jonathan Papamarenghi, Piacenza's municipal officials.

Klimt's 'Portrait of a Lady' was stolen on 22 February 1997 from the Ricci-Oddi gallery as it was preparing for a special exhibition to display the work of art.

01:55
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Police officers arrived at Piacenza's Ricci-Oddi modern art gallery on Wednesday to investigate the discovery of a painting by Gustav Klimt titled 'Portrait of a Lady' which was presumed to be stolen for almost 23 years.

A gardener found a bag containing the work of art inside a space within the walls while cleaning the gallery's yard. Footage released on Wednesday shows police cordoning off the opening in the wall.

Further analysis is underway to confirm the authenticity of the painting but excitement has been building up around the discovery.

"Not only the city of Piacenza, but the whole artistic and cultural community, will be able to have a big party because I think it is the greatest and most important gift that we could reserve for Christmas. Surely, it will also be a gift for tourism in Piacenza, on this we will work with the Ricci Oddi Gallery, to attract an increasingly attentive public to beauty, culture and art," said Jonathan Papamarenghi, Piacenza's municipal officials.

Klimt's 'Portrait of a Lady' was stolen on 22 February 1997 from the Ricci-Oddi gallery as it was preparing for a special exhibition to display the work of art.

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