ICE Recovers 19th Century Painting in Texas Stolen From Italian Monastery in 2002


The painting called “the Assumption of the Virgin Mary” was created by Italian artist Giuseppe Pappini in August 1851.

ICE authorities in Dallas, Texas have recovered a 19th century painting stolen from an Italian monastery in 2002.

ICE authorities working with members of the Department of Homeland Security say that the painting was stolen from the Abbey of Santa Maria in Sylvis in Sesto al Reghena, Italy, in May 2002. The painting, called “the Assumption of the Virgin Mary,” was created by Italian artist Giuseppe Pappini in August 1851.

Officials were able to locate the painting after receiving a tip from the HSI Attaché Office in Rome, Italy last year. Through the tip, officials investigated and tracked the painting to a private art collector in the Dallas-area who had purchased the painting in 2015 from a dealer who was unaware that it was stolen.

After learning of the painting’s origins, the private collector voluntarily agreed to hand it over to HSI so that it could be repatriated to Italy and returned to the monastery.

“Investigating the loss or looting of cultural heritage properties and returning them to their countries of origin is an important part of HSI's diverse mission” Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of HSI Dallas, said in a press release. “Our specially trained investigators and attachés in more than 40 countries not only partner with governments, agencies and experts who share our mission to protect these items, but they train the investigators of other nations and agencies on how to find, authenticate and enforce the law to recover these items when they emerge in the marketplace.”