Morocco hands over 17th-century stolen painting to Italy

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Rabat, July 16 (IANS) Moroccan authorities handed over a 17th-century stolen painting to Italy.

The painting, worth up to 6 million euros ($6.9 million), was stolen from a church in the northern Italian city of Modena in 2014, and was recovered in a local market in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, reports Xinhua news agency.

During a ceremony held in Casablanca on Saturday, Moroccan police officially handed over the painting, known as “The Squinter”, to the Italian ambassador to Morocco.

The 17th-century painting by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as Guercino, was recovered thanks to a wealthy Moroccan businessman and art collector, who acquired it for $1 million.

After the businessman informed the police, they arrested four people.

The Moroccan police also tipped off Italian authorities, which later arrested another Moroccan migrant who stole the painting from Italy.

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