Renaissance paintings: Dispute between Serbia and Italy

The Italian prosecution has launched an investigation into eight masterpieces of the master Renaissance painters Tiziano, Tintoretto and Carpaccio for which they claim are located in the National Museum in Belgrade.

According to the Italian newspapers, the paintings were taken from Italy during the World War II and give to the Nazi general Hermann Goering and his close associations. After the war, they were found in the Allied collection centre in Munich. Following the closure of the centre, it was decided for the paintings to be shipped to Yugoslavia. Allegedly, art collector Ante Topic Mimara forwarded them to the National Museum in Belgrade in mid-1950s.

Because of lack of interest shown by the Italian post-war diplomats, the paintings were not talked about until 2004 and 2005 when an exhibition called “From Carpaccio to Canaletto – the Italian Art Treasure in the Belgrade National Museum” took place in Bologna and Bari.

The Italian police then informed the prosecution office in Bologna that the controversial paintings were exhibited at the National Museum in Belgrade, demanding for the then director of the National Museum and the exhibition’s organizer to be held responsible. However, the masterpieces were returned to Serbia as soon as the exhibition closed.

These are invaluable paintings and include Tiziano’s ‘Portrait of Queen Christina of Denmark” and Tintoretto’s “Madonna with Child and Donor”.

(Blic, 29.11.2016)

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