On a cold night in 2013, someone agreed to National Etruscan Museum of Rome and stole 27 jewels of gold and precious stones, a "wound" that Italy has finally healed by recovering the pieces after an investigation of a "detective novel". The Italian authorities have concluded the investigation of these facts and today they exhibited with applause the last recovered jewel, an exquisite gold choker, emeralds, rubies and pearls.
The robbery was perpetrated on the stormy night of March 30, 2013, when hooded, equipped with clubs and smoke bombs, they entered the museum, in the lavish Villa Giulia of the capital, and took the booty after bursting the screens that guarded it.
The alarms sounded and the police went swiftly to the place, but 27 jewels, between earrings, necklaces, brooches and gold rings, valued at three million euros, ended up lost
The alarms rang and the police rushed to the place, but 27 jewels, including earrings, necklaces, brooches and gold rings, valued at three million euros, ended up lost. They were not normal pieces, because they made up one of the most important goldsmith collections in the world, that of the Castellani family, artisans of the XIX century that adorned the sovereign houses and the high and most distinguished bourgeoisie of nineteenth-century Europe.
The Castellani were inspired by the Classicism to elaborate their precious gold jewels, rethinking the goldsmiths of the Antiquity, thanks to the most recent findings in the deposits of Greece, Etruria or Magna Grecia, the Hellenic colonies in the Italian south.
The Castellani were inspired by the Classicism to elaborate their precious gold jewels, rethinking the goldsmiths of Antiquity
But in his creations, in addition to Greco-Roman references, the Byzantine or Barbara aesthetics, as well as medieval or Renaissance art, specializing in the technique of granulation, the union of tiny spheres to form a pattern in precious metal.
Exactly one hundred years ago, in 1919, the Castellani decided to donate these pieces after the institution lost the great collection of the Marquis de Campana, sold to the Russian Hermitage and the Louvre in Paris to achieve liquidity and pay their debts. "It is an immense patrimony, a part of the national identity", explained to Efe the director of the Etruscan Museum, Valentino Nizzo.
In order to recover this treasure, a "proper investigation of a police novel" has been needed, the prosecutor in charge said at a press conference. Tiziana Cugini. And it has been six years of inquiries, interrogations, raids and hundreds of wiretaps in the underworld black market art.
Finally the Italian authorities showed the involvement of a network of Roman thieves, an antiquarian of the capital and a lady of Russian nationality who was caught in the airport of Fiumicino with a catalog of the collection days after the theft.
The biggest blow to this network was in March 2016, when it was about to organize a sale on the Roman coast and it was possible to identify and denounce the escapees. The cacos, knowing they were controlled, fled on board a car and, to prevent the Carabineros from following them, threw a significant part of the jewels out the window.
The Italian authorities demonstrated the involvement of a network of Roman thieves, an antiquarian in the capital and a lady of Russian nationality who was caught at the Fiumicino airport
It was definitely the beginning of the end because the thieves could not get rid of the pieces as potential buyers knew that the police "was on their heels," said Carabineros Lt. Col. Nicola Candido. Now the treasure returns to its showcase, six years after its robbery and exactly one century of its donation, although it does not do it in full, because of some jewels "small pieces have been lost" like tassels, pearls or details during the robbery , says Nizzo.
From the museum they hope that the whole weight of Justice falls on these criminals who inflicted a "terrible wound" on the public patrimony of the institution: "We expect a severe punishment," the director told Efe. Prosecutor Cugini did not give further details about the identity of the thieves, the antiquarian or the rich Russian woman "in love with the jewels" who allied to assault the museum, but she hoped that soon a trial will be opened against them. made by luck already corrected.