Old Masters were hidden under bed by thief's lover
Wednesday 29 September 1999
A young woman told the court that she transported and hid the three stolen masterpieces under her bed, all for the love of a convicted thief 20 years her senior.
Annarita Sinti, 26, said she now realised she had been used by her co- accused Eneo Ximenes, who is said to have masterminding the operation, but that he had saved her life and the pair hoped to marry as soon as the trial was over.
The Gardener and Woman of Arles (Portrait of Madame Ginoux), believed to have been painted by Van Gogh in 1890 soon before his suicide, and Jourdan's Cottage, believed to be Cezanne's last work in oils, were the three priceless paintings stolen from the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome. Ms Sinti is one of eight people on trial for the theft.
Police claim that on the night of 19 May 1998, three thieves remained in the museum after closing. They held three wardens at gunpoint, tied and gagged them and locked them in a lavatory. The robbers then de- activated security cameras, took the art pieces and walked out.
After a two-month police investigation, Ms Sinti was arrested. So were her father, who runs a bar in Rome, Mr Ximenes, four others and a gallery employee. One painting was recovered in Turin, the other two in Ms Sinti's apartment in Rome. Six of the eight accused admit involvement.
Ms Sinti, whose lawyer said she suffered from depression and anorexia, said it was love at first sight when Mr Ximenes arrived at her father's home on the recommendation of a friend in Belgium. "I had stopped eating but with him I began to live again. He is my lifeline," she said. She has been visiting Mr Ximenes every week in Rome's grim Regina Coeli jail.
A cautionary tale for ambitious would-be authors
X Factor judge will appear in court later this month
Trenton Oldfield deportation: Boat Race protester allowed to stay in UK over fears his Indian wife would face racism in Australia
Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
Teenage girl convicted of robbery after taking pre-crime selfie wielding knife
'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
- 1 Dear Sir Jimmy Savile: A comedian's words of valediction to the nation's trusted uncle
- 2 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 3 Teenage girl convicted of robbery after taking pre-crime selfie wielding knife
- 4 Newly vegan Beyoncé wears fox fur to dine in meat free restaurant
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
- < Previous
- Next >
£65000 - £80000 per annum + Excellent Bonus, Package : Harrington Starr: Busin...
£75000 - £90000 per annum + UNCAPPED OTE + PACKAGE: Harrington Starr: European...
attractive: Citifocus: Prestigious Investment Management Company seeks a finan...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + Package + Bonus: Harrington Starr: ETRM Project Ma...