Working with Christopher Marinello, CEO of Art Recovery International, Bloomsbury returned the manuscript to the Archdiocese of Turin this autumn. It had been part of the 15th century illuminated manuscript of the Breviary of Ludovico da Romagnano which was stolen around 1990. Bloomsbury had catalogued the manuscript leaf to offer at auction earlier this year following its consignment by a collector’s estate.
The collector, who died in 2020, had bought it in good faith at auction in the US and it was only when two academics separately contacted Bloomsbury that the auction house realised it was in fact listed in the Carabinieri’s stolen art database.
Bloomsbury’s Dr Timothy Bolton contacted Marinello for assistance in returning the manuscript, following the support of the heirs of the collector who had consigned it. Dr Bolton added: “We are delighted to be part of it finding its way home, but we believe we did what anyone would have done once the truth was discovered.”
Marinello, who praised Bloomsbury's actions, negotiated the return of the manuscript to the Republic of Italy on a pro-bono basis.