Thursday, December 4, 2014

Catholic Church to Clamp Down on Religious Art Theft

By Andrea Vogt, Bologna
Madonna with St John the Evangelist by Guercino was stolen in August Photo: ANSA
ITALY---New guidelines have been issued in Italy in an attempt to protect up to 4 million religious artefacts from theft and international trafficking. Forty per cent of stolen goods trafficked out of Italy are pieces of religious art, according to the country's special Carabinieri art crime unit. The new measures, issued jointly by Italy's cultural ministry, the Italian Bishops' Conference and the Carabinieri, call for wide-ranging security measures to be implemented in churches, chapels, convents and libraries, including more video surveillance, reduced opening hours, replacing original art works with copies and regular inspections of special sites. [link]