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Resignation of the Italian Minister of State for Culture Sgarbi

Resignation of the Italian Minister of State for Culture Sgarbi

The politician and art connoisseur is said to have executed the painting illegally and is under fire for his paid public appearances

Italian Minister of State for Culture Vittorio Sgarbi announced his resignation. A criminal investigation is underway against the right-wing politician on charges of money laundering and the theft of an art painting. “I will resign from the position of Foreign Minister with immediate effect and will inform Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in the next few hours,” the 71-year-old art historian said on Friday in Milan.

In October, the Italian antitrust authority opened an investigation to find out whether the large sums of money the art critic is said to have received from various public appearances were consistent with his position in government and whether his work as a cultural expert was in the private sector. The sector may present a conflict of interest.

At the beginning of January, the prosecutor's office in the city of Macerata opened an investigation against Al-Saghirbi on charges of misappropriation of cultural assets in connection with a portrait of the Baroque painter Rutilio di Lorenzo Manetti, which was stolen from Buriasco Castle in Piedmont in 2016. Northern Italy 2013 It is about the painting “The Arrest Saint Peter.

The painting disappeared from Bureasco Castle in 2013 and, according to investigators, resurfaced at an exhibition in Tuscany in 2021 as the alleged property of Sgarbi. The right-wing politician, one of the most famous Italian art critics, claims that they are two different paintings. He once found the photo of himself in an abandoned villa. He described the accusations against him as slander.

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Al-Saghirbi has long been under investigation for the illegal export of a painting by the French painter Valentin de Boulogne (1591-1632). In this case, he is suspected of trying to sell the image abroad.