Versace Stolen Painting Portrait of Major George Maule Returned to Original Owners

By on Nov 22, 2010 in Europe, World Comments
Portrait of Major George Maule
Image Credit: Getty Images: Oli Scarff

The stolen portrait of Major George Maule by the German neoclassical artist Johann Zoffany was reported to have been reunited to its original owners.

According to several news websites, the Zoffany painting was stolen in 1979 from a private London residence of Major General Sheffield who was said to be the direct descendant of Major George Maule.

After the death of Sheiffield in 1987, his children continued the search for the said family portrait. They placed the painting on the Art Loss Register‘s database of stolen artwork.

It was only on March 2009 when the painting was identified in one of the Sotheby‘s high profile sale of the late designer Gianni Versace‘s collection in Versace’s Lake Como Villa.

Reports said that ALR contacted Sotheby‘s Legal Department who withdrew the work from sale and held it until the ownership dispute was resolved.

After a long term of investigation and negotiation it was finally settled and disclosed on Monday that the treasured painting was reunited last week to the original owner who live in Sussex.

Art Loss Register executive director and general counsel, Christopher Marinello said that the family were delighted to have the painting back.

“It was all settled amicably. The family are overjoyed. They came here to our offices last week to pick it up and it was very emotional to see this painting back in their possession.” Marinello was quoted saying, which helped negotiate the case with the two parties.

It was also reported that Versace might be unaware that it had been stolen when he bought it some years afterwards.

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