Stolen Italian masterpieces were found due to the efforts of prosecutors, border guards and other Ukrainian law enforcement officers. This was reported by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko during the ceremony of transferring of the pictures to the city museum Castelvecchio on air of 112 Ukraine TV channel.
“Due to the effective cooperation of the prosecutors, border guards and other Ukrainian law enforcement officers, we managed not only stop the illegal traffic of art treasures and catch the smugglers, but we also found priceless works of art which we are finally, after all official procedures, returning to our Italian friends,” Poroshenko said.
“I would like to thank the Italian government and Italian people for their firm and consistent position to support sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of our country during Russian aggression against us and during the illegal annexation of Crimea. This was demonstrated during the voting of the corresponding resolution several days ago by the UN General Assembly in New York and a very important decision taken several days ago on extending EU sanctions against the country-aggressor. And for the invaluable help that EU Council, Italy and all 28 member countries provide to Ukraine, including the issue of granting visa-free regime,” the Presidents expressed his gratitude.
"I would also like to thank the Italian government, city Mayor and the Embassy of Italy for their gracious consent, for the opportunity to demonstrate these 17 priceless paintings to Ukrainians in this fantastic house of Khanenko museum," Poroshenko added.
Earlier Ukrainian border guards arrested 17 pictures prepared for smuggle to Moldova in Odesa region on May, 6. The pictures were stolen on November 2015 from the city museum Castelvecchio in Italian Verona. Later the world masterpieces found by Ukrainian board guards were taken to the Khanenko museum for a temporary exhibition.
Earlier it was reported that Dutch museum received from Ukraine five stolen paintings. Now the museum collects funds for the restoration of its damaged heritage.