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Village buys back stolen statue

Tuesday 19 February 2013

A church in the Limburg village of Gronsveld has bought back a statue stolen 37 years ago.

The statue of St Agatha was taken from the St Martinuskerk in 1976 and only recently rediscovered, in an auction at Sotheby's in London.

With just three weeks between the auction announcement and the sale, the church needed to act quickly.

'We had money in our savings account,' church council member Jacques van Rensch told the Telegraaf. 'We used that to buy the statue, but we will try and get the money back through subsidies and sponsoring.'

He did not say how much they paid.

The metre-tall statue is by the Limburg sculptor Jan van Steffieswert (1465-1530) who was one of the first craftsmen to sign his work. He is included in the Limburg canon of important events and people.

 

© DutchNews.nl



 

Readers' Comments

Sotheby's is selling a stolen statue and instead of giving it back to the rightful owner they have to audacity to sell it. Strange logic.

By pepe | 19 February 2013 3:55 PM

Why can't the authorities have an inquiry as to who held the statue prior to the aution and possibly prosecute them? Also why can't the statue be returned to its rightful owner without having to pay for it? Where is the law that is supposed to protect us?

By roland | 19 February 2013 4:37 PM

How is this possible? I thought stolen property remains stolen no matter how many times it has exchanged hands. If you unintentionally buy a stolen object then you are simply out of luck (caveat emptor) because there is already a legal owner who has the right to reclaim it.

By Sarah | 19 February 2013 6:22 PM

If it was stolen why did they have to buy it back. Do Sotheby's sell stolen goods? This sounds crazy.

By Monika Earner | 19 February 2013 10:21 PM

Who says "Crime doesn't pay?". It obviously does.

By H. | 20 February 2013 11:48 AM

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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