Man who bought stolen Van Gogh paintings worth $100 million arrested in Dubai
Man who bought stolen Van Gogh paintings worth $100 million arrested in Dubai

Man who bought stolen Van Gogh paintings worth $100 million arrested in Dubai

A man wanted in Italy for allegedly buying several stolen Vincent van Gogh paintings has been arrested in Dubai.

Raffaele Imperiale, 46, isn’t just an art lover. Oh no. He’s also said to be the kingpin in the Camorra crime syndicate, based in the city of Naples.

And as well as being arrested in Dubai for buying stolen van Gogh paintings, he was also wanted on drug trafficking offences.

Two paintings were stolen from Amsterdam in 2002. Van Gogh’s “Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen” and “View of the Sea at Scheveningen.”

They were then found in Naples in 2016 before being returned to the museum the year after. And the police have finally caught up with the buyer in Dubai.

Both paintings are said to be worth around $50 million. But it wasn’t the price tag that attracted Imperiale to the paintings. He told Il Mattino newspaper how he came to get the artworks.

“I bought them directly from the thief because the price was attractive. But most of all because I love art.” Well, that’s good to know.

We hope he likes the artwork in his Dubai prison cell where he’s being held while extradition charges are created. And let’s hope the museum has tighter security this time around!

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