Thursday, April 3, 2008

Operation "Ulisse": Oplontis Fresco on Display in Rome

In February I noted the seizure of antiquities at a private residence in Paris as part of the Italian Operation "Ulisse".

One of the seized items, a Roman fresco removed from a Roman villa at Oplontis, went on display in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome ("Rosso pompeiano. La decorazione pittorica nelle collezioni del Museo Nazionale di Napoli e a Pompei") last week ("Stolen Vesuvian fresco on show in Rome", ANSA, March 27, 2008). This painting (further image) shows:
a bower of vines, a satyr riding a mule, and a cloaked woman making a sacrifice at an altar. The three-metre long fresco is the largest landscape-themed painting ever found in the Vesuvian area.
The trail of the painting has now been released. It was apparently in Geneva in the early 1980s (but where? in a private collection? with a dealer?) before being displayed "in the house of a rich industrialist in Brussels" (who?). It was found "in the house of French publisher and art collector Jacques Marcoux in Place Vendome [Paris] in February".

The painting will be returned to one of the archaeological collections in the Bay of Naples area.

From ANSA.

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