BBC focus on recovered medieval masterpiece

Image caption,

The double-sided panel is thought to be worth thousands of pounds

A MEDIEVAL painting that was stolen from an art gallery in 1979 has been recovered after its latest owner died, the BBC has revealed.

In an article on the BBC News website last week, reporter Marcus White said auctioneers had discovered the double-sided 15th Century panel, attributed to an artist of the Nuremberg School, among the man’s property in Southampton.

Research revealed the valuable artefact had been stolen from York Art Gallery by an unknown thief.

The owner, whose daughter declined any payment, was probably unaware of its history, Duke’s Auctioneers said.

Image caption,

The work depicts the Angel Gabriel and five saints

One of the firm’s partners, Guy Schwinge, told the BBC: “We suspect he might have bought it quite innocently in a market or perhaps in another auction or a shop, not realising what he was buying and that it had this rather more interesting history.

“We were very lucky that the daughter that had inherited the estate was quite… happy that it was simply returned to the museum and no money changed hands at all.”

The work, depicting five saints and the Angel Gabriel, was one of a pair at the gallery, where its counterpart remains.

The Dorchester auction house found it was listed on the Art Loss Register, a database of stolen treasures.

York senior curator Beatrice Bertram said: “The theft may have been over 40 years ago but it is an important part of our collection and it is fantastic that this panel can be reunited with its pair.”

Mr Schwinge said the painting, worth thousands of pounds, would be shipped to York within the next few weeks.

See report at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-65810296