Turin

Stolen Chagall found in Juve great Bettega's house

Ex-Italy forward plaintiff in case

Stolen Chagall found in Juve great Bettega's house

Turin, April 8 - Italian art cops on Monday found a stolen masterpiece by Russian artist Marc Chagall in the Turin home of famed former Italian soccer player Roberto Bottega. The ex-Italy and Juventus striker, nicknamed Bobby Gol for his finishing instincts, bought the work in good faith from a Bologna gallery in 2003, a few months after it was stolen from a US yacht moored off the northeastern resort of Savona, police said. The gang who stole the work fooled the Chagall Foundation in Paris into providing a new authentication for the work, 'Le nu au Bouquet', just before Bettega bought it. The ex-centre-foward paid 1.2 million euros for it, its current market value. The owner of the Bologna gallery has been cited for fencing stolen goods along with two others, currently outside Italy, including a Romanian ex-crew member on the yacht, owned by an unidentified late US citizen who bought the Chagall from a New York gallery in 1988 and decided to put it on the vessel. Bettega was defrauded by the same gallery in 2006, police said - but in that case it was a photo of a Giorgio Morandi still life stuck onto a canvas. The former Juve player, who became a long-serving executive at the 28-time Serie A champions, paid 500,000 euros for it.

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