My Gauguin in the kitchen

After proudly displaying them in his kitchen for almost forty years, a retired Italian factory worker has had to give up two stolen paintings by Gauguin and Bonnard that he bought at a lost-property auction for the equivalent of 23 euros.

Stolen paintings by Paul Gauguin and Pierre Bonnard, worth at least 10.6 million euros ($15.9 million), graced the kitchen walls of a Fiat factory worker for almost 40 years, reports the BBC.

The paintings had been stolen in 1970 from a collector's home in London by three thieves — two posing as burglar alarm engineers and the third as a police officer. After the works were left unidentified on a train in Italy, a Fiat worker bought them at a lost-property auction for the equivalent of 23 euros. He proudly hung them on his kitchen walls in his Turin home and took them to Sicily with him when he retired.

The man started wondering about the paintings when his son saw a book with another Gauguin that showed suspicious similarities. He consulted experts and the police were alerted. The BBC does not say if the man was reimbursed for his 23 euros.


About the Author

Yan Barcelo

Yan Barcelo is a journalist in Montreal.

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