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Lost Titian Portrait Recovered After Almost Two Decades

The Italian police have recovered a portrait by Renaissance artist Titian, nearly two decades since it was seemingly lost.

The work was recovered by the Turin branch of the Carabinieri – the cultural heritage unit of the Italian police. It was found in the Piedmont region of Italy after the police got a tip from a local informant. Reportedly, the painting was there to be restored at a local studio. Reports also suggest that two Swiss citizens are under investigation regarding the theft. The painting was presented on May 19 at an official ceremony.

Titled Portrait Of A Man With A Beret, the 16th-century painting by Titian first went missing in 2004. At the time, the authorities did not reveal who was the owner of the work or from where it went missing. The initial assumption was that the work was illegally transported to Switzerland. Now, after the painting was recovered nearly two decades later, investigations support the initial assumption.

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The painting by Titian is an oil portrait, depicting the bust of an unidentified man in traditional attire. The work is said to be currently valued at $7 million, though it could fetch much more in an auction. This would make it one of the most valuable works by Titian, whose record-breaking work Madonna and Child (early 16th century) fetched $16.9 million in 2011. This also marks another feather in the cap of Carabinieri, who last recovered a massive cache of 10,000 artworks in a raid in March 2019.