Stolen Gauguin on Sicily kitchen wall for years

ROME (AP) — Italian police say a Paul Gaugin still life that was stolen from a private collection in Britain in 1970 hung in Sicilian autoworker's kitchen for 40 years — and has now been recovered by authorities.

Maj. Massimiliano Quagliarella of the paramilitary Carabininieri art theft squad said Wednesday that the man claimed he displayed it on his kitchen wall, first in Turin, when he worked for Fiat, then in Sicily, because the painting depicting two bowls of fruit seemed a suitable backdrop to his dinner table.

Quagliarella said the man brought the painting, along with one of lesser value by Pierre Bonnard, at a 1975 Italian state railway auction of unclaimed lost items, for the equivalent of about 100 dollars. The auctioneers purportedly didn't know they were stolen.

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