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Art Theft at S. Simeone
(near Stroncone, in Umbria)

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The plaster on the walls of this chapel seems to have fallen off.

Let's zoom in, though, on the attractive fresco on the left, representing S. Bernardino di Siena.

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A bit more zoom, to see the precise scalpeling away of the saint's face and hands. This is no accident:

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We can safely say that the center panel — my guess: either a Crucifixion or St. Francis receiving the stigmata — was stolen whole; but that the thieves didn't feel it was worth the trouble to take all of S. Bernardino, above: just his face and his hands.

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This damage to a small altar in the nave of the church is no accident either: the oval stone boss in the center of the altar front was saleable; it may also have contained relics. The rest is just plaster.

An earthquake may have started the destruction, but just in case you missed it:

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Chisel left behind by the thief; they're going to come back.

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Page updated: 16 Mar 24