|Pompeii, Regio VI. Source: Google Earth|
The house was damaged by Allied bombing in 1943 during an attack on the nearby railway.
Presumably somebody thought that they could sell this documented painting on the market. Perhaps it would have surfaced as formerly in an "old European collection". Hopefully the publicity will mean that the fragment, measuring some 20 by 20 cm, will be returned.
|The damaged fresco |
with Artemis removed
It is worth remembering that North American collectors acquired fresco fragments that clearly had been derived from the area of the Bay of Naples, and that these have formed part of the returns to Italy. For further details see here.