US Returns Nine Stolen 18th-Century Paintings to Peru

Miguel Cabrera's Retrato de Sor Juana (1753) Photo via: Chilango
Miguel Cabrera's Retrato de Sor Juana (1753) Photo via: Chilango

The U.S. authorities have returned nine stolen works by the 18th-century Mexican painter Miguel Cabrera to the Republic of Peru. The restitution took place last Friday, during a ceremony in New York attended by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the FBI New York Assistant Director George Venizelos, and the Peruvian Ambassador Harold Forsyth, reports Venezuela al Día.

Miguel Cabrera, born in Oxaca (Mexico) in 1695, is one of the most important Central American painters of the period. The returned paintings were reported as stolen from a church in Lima in 2008. Eight of the works were subsequently found in an auction house in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The ninth painting, Resurrection of Lazarus, which is the most recognized artwork of the stolen lot, was found last January in a New York auction house.

All the consigners and auction houses involved in the scam immediately agreed to relinquish any rights and for the works to be returned to Peru.

“We are pleased to return these nine Miguel Cabrera paintings.” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, quoted by Art Daily. “Our Office is committed to ensuring that stolen artwork, especially when it is an important part of a nation’s cultural heritage, does not find a safe haven for resale in the Southern District of New York or elsewhere in the U.S.”


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