KIEV, March 28 (Itar-Tass) - The recovery of “The Taking of Christ or The Kiss of Judas“ by Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio is one of the main achievements of the Ukrainian Interpol offie, its chief Vasily Nevolya told a news conference in Kiev devoted to the 20th anniversary of foundation of an Interpol office in Ukraine.
Nevolya said that art thieves had stolen the painting from a museum in Odessa in 2008. The painting was discovered in Germany in 2010 and is currently being stored in the territory of Ukraine. Nevolya added that another valuable work of art stolen from a private collection in Ukraine had recently been found in another European country. He promised to reveal the details of the theft soon.
“The Ukraine-based Interpol office is involved in a search for about 200 valuable art pieces in various parts of the globe,” Nevolya said.
Last year, representatives of Ukrainian Interpol helped establishing the whereabouts of over 220 people who were on the international wanted list for committing crimes in various parts of the world. They also contributed to the extradition of 60 people, including 43 to Ukraine and 18 to foreign countries.
According to Nevolya, there are 888 people on the international wanted list.
“This figure varies from year to year. However, the number of found fugitives is on the rise. Most of them have been found in countries of the former Soviet Union. In recent years, the growing number of our compatriots has been travelling to Spain and Italy as well as to counties of the former Soviet bloc,” Nevolya emphasized.
“The Taking of Christ or The Kiss of Judas “by Caravaggio was stolen from a museum in 2008. German police detained three Ukrainian nationals and one Russian who wanted to sell the canvas in June 2010. Twenty people have been detained in Ukraine in connection with the theft. The criminals seriously damaged the picture by folding it in the wrong way. Now, the painting needs restoration.