Italy’s other soap opera – police raids net 19 masterpiece paintings

By Incorrect Author 7 December 2009

Italian tax police seized paintings by Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne and other art giants in raids on assets hidden by the disgraced founder of the collapsed dairy company, Parmalat, Calisto Tanzi. Estimates are that the 19 hidden masterpieces are worth about $150 million. Prosecutor Gerardo Laguardia said officials believed Tanzi was about to sell at least one of the masterworks. And a tax police officer told the AP that he understood all the paintings, watercolours and drawings were up to be sold to a Russian, possibly living in Italy. Parmalat, the dairy conglomerate well-known for long shelf-life milk, grew from a small dairy into a multinational food company, but collapsed in 2003 under €14 billion in debt in Europe's largest corporate bankruptcy. Small investors lost their life savings among some 40,000 defrauded bondholders. For more, read the AP

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