FBI Helps Irish Family Recover Stolen Heirloom After 10 Years

FBI Helps Irish Family Recover Stolen Heirloom After 10 Years

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After a precious painting was stolen straight out of their home 10 years ago, this Irish family has finally been reunited with their heirloom, thanks to the FBI and other specialists.

In 1949, Irish couple Dr. Frank and Turid Malpress purchased one of the warmly-colored oil paintings of William Conor, a celebrated Belfast artist famed for his work depicting the Irish working class.

For 50 years, the painting “Bringing in the Turf” hung in the family’s home. More recently, the painting was estimated to be worth roughly $40,000.

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Knowing the value of the paintings, the Malpress family at one point replaced the hanging masterpiece with a replica at the suggestion of the Police Service of Northern Ireland – but they quickly changed their minds, preferring to hang the original instead.

Then, in 2008, the Conor painting – along with a Daniel O’Neil painting titled “The Prodigal Son” – were stolen from the Malpress home.

The Conor painting then resurfaced at an art auction in the Republic of Ireland in 2013.

The family contacted their insurance company who then contacted Christopher Marinello: lawyer and art recovery expert with Art Recovery International.

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Marinello and FBI Special Agent Luigi Mondini spent four years negotiating the return of “Bringing in the Turf” from the painting’s buyer in Chicago.

Though the details of the case are vague, the masterpiece has finally been returned to the Malpress household this week.

According to the Independent, the Malpresses are “absolutely delighted to have it back in our family” and they are grateful for Marinello and Mondini’s help when “all seemed lost”.

Though the Daniel O’Neil painting is still at large, the successful return of the Conor painting is just one of the completed investigations conducted by Marinello and Art Recovery International.

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