Armour stolen from Louvre four decades ago now recovered

It is not known how the items were stolen from the Louvre

TWO pieces of Italian Renaissance armour which were stolen from the Louvre Museum almost 40 years ago have been returned.

They are an elaborately decorated breastplate and a ceremonial helmet dating from the 16th century which the police have now returned to the Louvre Museum.

They were found in Bordeaux, France during the auction of an estate, after having been stolen from the museum on May 31, 1983.

Made in Milan in the mid to late 1500s, the armour is inlaid with gold and silver and estimated to be worth around €500,000.

A military antiquities expert spotted the armour when he was hired for an appraisal.

He was suspicious about the origins of the armour so he alerted the French Central Office for the Fight against Trafficking in Cultural Goods (OCBC). They identified the missing armour from an electronic database of stolen objects. The Treima database in France contains some 110,000 photos from 32,000 open cases regarding stolen artworks and artefacts.

These pieces were donated to the Louvre in 1922 by the Rothschild family, but it is not known who managed to steal them or how.


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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.

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