Stolen Roman statue found in Brussels antique shop

A Roman statue dating back to the First Century BC has been recovered, almost a decade after it was stolen from an archaeological site in Italy. Two Italian officers came across the sculpture of a headless figure wearing a toga at an antique shop in Belgium. Suspicious of its origins, they searched a database of stolen artefacts and discovered the “Togatus” statue had been missing since 2011. The sculpture is believed to be worth around €100,000 ($120,000, £87,000). The two officers, who work for the antiquities division of the Carabinieri military police, were in the Belgian capital Brussels for a … Continue reading Stolen Roman statue found in Brussels antique shop

Spain stops auction over possible long-lost masterpiece

Spain has blocked the auction of a painting in Madrid, following suggestions it could be a long-lost masterpiece by the Italian Renaissance artist Caravaggio. The starting price for Crowning of Thorns was initially 1,500 euros (£1,300; $1,800), but if it is indeed by Michelangelo Caravaggio, it could be worth up to €150m. The painting is being examined by experts and declared “not for export”. The 17th Century oil painting depicts Jesus just before his crucifixion and, according to the auction catalogue, is attributed to Spanish artist Jose de Ribera. With concerns the work could be sold abroad, the Spanish government moved … Continue reading Spain stops auction over possible long-lost masterpiece

Vincent Van Gogh painting fetches £11m at auction

A Vincent Van Gogh painting of a Paris street that spent more than 100 years behind closed doors has fetched 13.09 million euros (£11.2m) at auction. Sotheby’s said the sale price was a record for the Dutch artist in France, where Thursday’s auction took place. It had previously estimated A Street Scene In Montmartre could fetch up to eight million euros (£6.9m). Painted in 1887, the piece has been owned by a French family for most of the time since. Specialists knew of the work but it was only catalogued as a black-and-white photograph. A slightly higher price was reached … Continue reading Vincent Van Gogh painting fetches £11m at auction

British artist’s giant painting raises £45m for children’s charities

The world’s largest painting, which was created by British artist Sacha Jafri, has been sold for £45m to raise funds for children’s charities. Jafri spent eight months painting the 1,600 sq m (17,000 sq ft) artwork in a deserted hotel’s ballroom in Dubai. He planned to sell it in 70 parts, but French cryptocurrency businessman Andre Abdoune has bought the whole work. The price makes it one of the most expensive paintings ever sold at auction by a living artist. Jafri said the full $62m (£45m) would go to Dubai Cares, Unicef, Unesco and the Global Gift Foundation to help … Continue reading British artist’s giant painting raises £45m for children’s charities

France to return Klimt painting sold under duress during Nazi era

France is to return a painting by the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt to the heirs of the Jewish family that was forced to sell it by the Nazis. French culture minister Roselyne Bachelot said restoring it to its rightful owners was an acknowledgement of the crimes they suffered. She said the painting bore witness to the “broken lives” of the Nazi era. The French state bought the work, its only Klimt, in 1980 without realising its history. The pre-war owner of Rosiers sous les Arbres (Rose Bushes Under the Trees) was Nora Stiasny, from a well-known Austrian Jewish family. She … Continue reading France to return Klimt painting sold under duress during Nazi era

Israeli museum calls off sale of Islamic art

Israel’s premier museum for Islamic art has scrapped the planned auction of many rare and precious items after a public outcry over the attempted sale, which had been expected to fetch millions of dollars from wealthy private collectors. In a settlement struck on Wednesday, the Sotheby’s auction house agreed to return 268 items from London back to the LA Mayer Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem. The agreement ends a saga that drew broad condemnation and threatened to gut one of Israel’s prized public art collections. Art experts criticised the attempted sale to private collectors saying it was hidden from … Continue reading Israeli museum calls off sale of Islamic art

‘Undiscovered Titian painting’ found in Ledbury church

A discoloured painting which hung in a parish church for more than 100 years has been linked to the Renaissance master Titian. The Last Supper was gifted to St Michael and All Angels Church in Ledbury, Herefordshire, in 1909. Art historian Ronald Moore believes he has now discovered Titian’s signature on the canvas during restoration work. “It always had a feel of Titian about it, but I could never identify it… now we have a breakthrough,” he said. Mr Moore was approached by the church to research and then restore the vast painting – which is more than 12ft wide … Continue reading ‘Undiscovered Titian painting’ found in Ledbury church

Mausoleum built for Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, finally reopens

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline A mausoleum built two millennia ago for the first Roman emperor, Augustus, has finally reopened to the public after 14 years and a $12.25 million restoration project. The funerary monument took five years to restore and make safe before it could be reopened to the public, including removing rubbish and clearing surrounding trees. Towering above Rome’s historic centre, the ancient tomb was once used as a military look-out point and hosted the lavish parties of the Roman dynasty. The site fell into disrepair, trees grew from the walls and rubbish filled the pathways, and was finally … Continue reading Mausoleum built for Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, finally reopens

Winston Churchill Moroccan landscape painting owned by Angelina Jolie fetches $11.5 million

A Moroccan landscape painted by Winston Churchill and owned by Angelina Jolie sold at auction on Monday for more than $11.5 million, smashing the previous record for a work by Britain’s World War II leader. “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque” sold at Christie’s in London for 8.3 million pounds, smashing the predictions of 1.5 million pounds to 2.5 million pounds, as well as the previous record price for a Churchill painting of just under 1.8 million pounds, The Associated Press reported. It was the only painting completed by the British Prime Minister and amateur artist during WWII, he gave it to President … Continue reading Winston Churchill Moroccan landscape painting owned by Angelina Jolie fetches $11.5 million

Chinese bowl bought for $35 in Connecticut could make half a million at Sotheby’s auction

A small floral bowl bought at a yard sale in Connecticut for just $35 has been identified as an exceptionally rare 15th-century Chinese antique.© Courtesy Sotheby’s Rare blue-and-white bowl from China’s Ming dynasty to be auctioned at Sotheby’s New York. The intricate blue-and-white artifact, which features motifs of lotus, peony, chrysanthemum and pomegranate blossoms, was originally commissioned by China’s imperial court during the Ming dynasty. It is now expected to sell for up to $500,000, according to Sotheby’s auction house in New York, where the auction is due to take place next month. The discovery was made last year near New … Continue reading Chinese bowl bought for $35 in Connecticut could make half a million at Sotheby’s auction

Van Gogh Paris painting goes on public display for first time

A Vincent Van Gogh painting of a Paris street has gone on display for the first time after spending more than 100 years behind closed doors. A Street Scene In Montmartre has been owned by a French family for most of the time since it was painted in 1887. Sotheby’s estimates it could fetch up to eight million euros (£6.9m) when it is sold at auction next month. Van Gogh expert Martin Bailey told BBC News that this is “the first time we are able to see it properly”. Small reproductions have been made in the past, often in black-and-white. … Continue reading Van Gogh Paris painting goes on public display for first time

The oldest rock art is 17,300-year-old kangaroo

Australian scientists have discovered the country’s oldest known rock art, a 17,300-year-old painting of a kangaroo. The artwork measuring 2m (6.5ft) was painted in red ochre on the ceiling of a rock shelter, it was found in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, known for its Aboriginal rock paintings. Its age was determined by radiocarbon-dating ancient mud wasp nests. The findings were published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Human Behaviour. Researcher Damien Finch, who pioneered the mud wasp dating technique, said it was rare to find mud wasp nests both on top and underneath a single artwork, but the team was able … Continue reading The oldest rock art is 17,300-year-old kangaroo