€1million Mastroianni theft

€1million Mastroianni theft

Culture News

Twenty gold statues and thirty jewels created by Umberto Mastroianni, the renowned Italian abstract sculptor of the 20th century, were stolen from an exhibit at the former residence of poet and nationalist proto-Fascist Gabriele d’Annunzio. The €1million Mastroianni theft occurred just a day before the exhibit’s scheduled closure.

The disappearance of these valuable works, showcased since 30th December 2023 at the Vittoriale degli Italiani in Gardone Riviera, Brescia, was noticed in the morning. The estate’s managers arrived to find the exhibition halls completely empty. The Carabinieri’s Cultural Heritage Protection Unit, renowned as Italy’s premier art law enforcement, has initiated an investigation into the matter.

Curated by Alberto Dambruoso based on a project by Cigno GG, the exhibition titled “Like A Hot And Fluid Gold, The Golds of Umberto Mastroianni” took place at the Museo d’Annunzio Segreto. Notably, Umberto Mastroianni was the uncle of the iconic actor Marcello Mastroianni.

The exhibit showcased an array of items, including rings, bracelets, brooches, pins, and various other jewels, alongside metal sheets and sculptures crafted by Mastroianni between the 1950s and 1990s, employing techniques such as ‘lost wax’ or ‘golden stream’ melding.

The Vittoriale degli Italiani, situated in Gardone Riviera overlooking Lake Garda, Lombardy, is a historic estate where D’Annunzio resided from 1922 until his demise in 1938, following his fallout with Mussolini.

The estate comprises D’Annunzio’s residence known as the Prioria, an amphitheatre, the preserved cruiser Puglia embedded into a hillside, a boathouse housing the MAS underwater vessel utilised by D’Annunzio in 1918, and a circular mausoleum.

Perceptions of the Vittoriale vary widely, ranging from being described as a “monumental citadel” to a “fascist lunapark,” with the site inevitably entangled in controversy stemming from its association with its creator.

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