It’s 1975 in Turin, Italy, as a worker from the local Fiat factory attends an Italian Railway auction of lost property. He spies a couple of nice paintings, and for roughly 22 Euros, purchases the paintings and happily hangs them on his kitchen walls – for 40 years.
Now this factory worker didn’t suspect a thing until his son noticed similarities between one of the paintings and photos of Gauguin artworks in a book. When the family reported their concerns to the police, they discovered they had in fact purchased a Paul Gauguin masterpiece , titled “Fruits sur une Table ou Nature au Petit Chien” (“Fruits on a Table or Still Life with a Small Dog”),
and a Pierre Bonnard work titled “La Femme aux Deux Fauteuils” (“Woman with Two Armchairs”)-
The paintings are thought to be worth collectively between 20-30 million Euros!
The works were allegedly stolen from a London home in 1970 and somehow left, either deliberately or accidentally, on a Paris–Turin train.
What an eye for a good painting he must have, huh? Gauguin is considered one of the greatest post-impressionist artists ever, and Bonnard is equally regarded as one of the greatest colorists .Makes you wonder what other stolen masterpieces are hanging innocently and unrecognized on kitchen walls around the world.
Not to be outplayed, The Italian police have today released a mobile phone App that allows anyone to play art sleuth. The app ,called ‘iTPC’ ( ‘TPC’ being the acronym for “Protection of Cultural Heritage’), will allow anyone with a suspicious eye to scan any paintings that they might think might be stolen, and the image will match itself against the world’s largest stolen art database.
Mariano Mossa, the head of Italy’s Heritage Police said at the press presentation of the new App, “It represents a first for those who hope to contribute to the fight against heritage crimes,” .
Personally I can’t wait -hours of fun in that little App
Available soon on Android and iOS-.