Venetian Prince Robbing Villas Blind

Bullet Shih Apr, 2012 0
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Princely Fakes

In one of the more unbelievable stories of art theft that could be straight out of the Thomas Crown Affair , Cristiano Barozzi, Prince of Santorini has recently been busted in Venice with a set of accomplices for stealing artwork from unsuspecting villas.  Venezia Today has reported that for the past ten years, the Prince and his gang have looted over 40 paintings by masters such as Canaletto and Gaudi using the following modus operandi.  56 year old Claudio Mella would determine which paintings to target.  60 year old photography studio worker Claudio Celadin would then transform a digital image of the original painting onto canvas and then pass it on to Barozzi.  Barozzi would then touch up the canvas facsimile with paint to make the painting look authentic.  Then using an inside man, they would pull the old switcheroo, replacing the original painting in the frame with Barozzi’s recently conjured up masterpiece.  The owners of the paintings never noticed the difference and the gang is believed to have netted over a million euros.  Police are still trying to locate the original paintings.

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