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March 29, 2023

Paintings worth hundreds of thousand euros recovered by police

According to Realitatea.net, the works “Landscape”, by Nicolae Grigorescu, and “Landscape in the Delta”, by Nicolae Darascu, were recovered by the police, after being stolen and sold, sometime between 2004 and 2005. One of Dr. Petru Groza’s heirs notified the police in October 2010, after discovering that three of the paintings in the memorial house had been replaced by forgeries. “The thieves operated sometime between 2004 and 2005 and, aided by an accomplice inside the Petru Groza House, replaced three of the original paintings with forgeries. The replacement went unnoticed for five years,” Bogdan Nitu, spokesman for the County Police Inspectorate, stated. Following the investigation, the culprits for the theft of the original paintings were caught. Petru P., from Bacia, Hunedoara County, who worked as watchman of the memorial house, is investigated at large for acting as accessory to theft, while Gheorghe G., from Timisoara, was found guilty of replacing the original paintings with forged ones. The latter is part of a criminal network which was found, following house searches, to harbour another five paintings signed by major Romanian paintings, as well as four icons, all without documents of origin. After the thieves replaced the original paintings by Grigorescu and Darascu with contemporary forgeries, the paintings ended up on the antiques’ black market.

The three stolen paintings were bought by collectors, in good faith, for some thousand euros, from antique fairs. The third painting, “Ox Cart”, by Nicolae Grigorescu, is still missing. The police initiated a national and international hunt for the work, estimated at EUR 175,000.

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