Italian police arrest 13 over €15m Verona museum theft

Suspects include museum’s security guard whose car was used as getaway vehicle

Italian police have arrested 13 people yesterday, 15 March, for the theft of 17 Old Master paintings from the Museo di Castelvecchio in Verona last November, including the museum security guard.

Three masked, armed men entered the museum around 7.30pm on 19 November, when it was due to close but before the alarm system had been enabled. They attacked the two museum employees present, the guard and a cashier, before stealing the works worth an estimated €10m-€15m, including six pieces by Tintoretto and other paintings by Pisanello, Rubens, and Andrea Mantegna. The thieves escaped in the security guard’s car.

Police in Moldova and Verona have arrested 11 Moldovans and two Italians for the theft. The suspects include the museum security guard, Francesco Silvestri, Silvestri’s brother and his Moldovan girlfriend, who is believed to have acted as an intermediary, according to Italian media reports. Investigators led by the Verona prosecutor Gennaro Ottaviano and Italy’s Carabinieri unit for art crime are working to recover the paintings from Moldova.