Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence

Nativity With St. Francis And St. Lawrence

Painting
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Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence

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The Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence (also known as The Adoration) is a painting from 1609 by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio .

It was stolen on October 16, 1969 from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo, Sicily.

The painting is large measuring almost six square metres (actual size 268 cm x 197 cm) and hung above the altar. Probably because of its size, it was removed from its frame by the thief or thieves (two suspected) before being taken out of the church. After it was stolen, the Oratory was pillaged of other art, along with choir stalls of carved and gilded wood and benches inlaid with precious woods and mother of pearl.

The local Sicilian Mafia are generally considered to be the prime culprits in the theft although nobody actually knows who committed the crime. The whereabouts of the work remain unknown to this day. Rumours of its destruction during the theft or subsequently in a 1980 earthquake have circulated from time to time as has the notion that the masterpiece is now hidden abroad. In 1996, Francesco Marino Mannoia, an informant and former member of the Sicilian Mafia, claimed he had stolen the painting as a young man on the orders of a high-ranking mobster, but other sources say it was stolen by amateurs and then sold on to various Mafiosi; at one point it is said to have ended up in the hands of Rosario Riccobono, who was killed in 1982, after which it passed on to Gerlando Alberti., The Daily Telegraph, February 5,...
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