Natività con i Santi Lorenzo e Francesco d'Assisi
Here is what Michelangelo Merisi's (Caravaggio) Nativity (1609) would look like if still hanging in the Oratorio di San Lorenzo in Palermo, Sicily. This Baroque masterpiece was stollen in 1969 thought to be a Mafia related crime and is estimated to be worth $20 million. Some think the painting to be destroyed at this point but who can say? I took a boat from Calabria to Sicily in the summer of 2008 and made a visit to the Oratorio in Palermo to find the space still empty nearly 40 years after the crime. I wonder if the Oratory has had more success in terms of visitors wanting to see the hole in the wall absence of the painting versus the actual painting when it was just another Caravaggio masterpiece.
Below, angels gasp at the outcome of one of the biggest art heists in history.