A painting by French post-Impressionist Paul Gaugin that was stolen in Britain in 1970 has turned up hanging in the kitchen of a retired factory worker in Sicily, Italian police said yesterday.
With it was a second missing painting by Pierre Bonnard, another French avant garde artist of the late 19th Century, that the owner bought with the Gaugin at an auction in 1975 for 45,000 lire, just €23.24.
The Gauguin oil-on-canvas, the value of which police estimated to be worth €10m to €30m, shows two bowls of fruit on a wooden table covered by a white tablecloth, with a small dog sleeping on the floor in the background. Signed and dated 1889, it is dedicated "to the countess N".
The Bonnard, also signed, portrays a little girl dressed in white and sitting in what appears to be an orchard.
The two paintings were stolen from a London home and found on a train in Turin, Italy. Without knowing their value, the state railway company later sold them at an auction to the unidentified factory worker.
Further research led police to the find.