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Italian man leaves million euro artwork on TGV

How could you possibly leave a 13th century work of art worth €1 million on the train? Well that's exactly what happened to an Italian art collector on a Paris to Geneva TGV train.

Italian man leaves million euro artwork on TGV
Italian art collector Francesco Plateroti left art worth €1 million on a French TGV. Photo: Marsupilami92/Flickr

Francesco Plateroti had more reason than most to visit the lost property section at a train station.

The art collector left a 13th century Chinese scroll “Le banquet des immortels à la terrasse de Jade” (“The banquet of immortals on the terrace of Jade”) by Wang Zhenpeng, estimated to be worth around €1 million ($1.25M), on the TGV train he was travelling on on November 21st.

After presenting the work of art, which dates from the Yuan dynasty (1280 – 1329) in the French capital, Plateroti took the high-speed TGV train from Paris to Geneva line and got off at Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, a town close to the border with Switzerland and the final stop before Geneva.

Plateroti, who gives lectures on art around the world, didn’t realize immediately that he didn’t have the scroll with him. By the time a panicked Plateroti noticed that something was missing, the train had already left for Geneva.

“I was crushed when I realized I didn’t have it with me,” Plateroti told The Local France. “It was a massive shock".

He immediately alerted staff, who contacted colleagues in Geneva. The train was searched, but unfortunately nothing was found.

All lost property items are sent to a central office in the Swiss city of Berne, but so far no million-euro painting has been handed in.

The frustrated collector then took it into his owns hands to try to track down the work of art.

He published a small ad stating he would be willing to pay a reward to whoever returns it to him.

But that hasn't proved to have had the desired effect.

“People take advantage of my misfortune,” Plateroti told The Local France, adding the artwork would "sell for over €1 million at auction".

“They are calling me to say they have the painting and that they will send it once I put the reward money in their bank accounts.

"This all makes having lost the painting a lot worse.”

While he hasn’t received any good news yet concerning the loss of his prized possession Plateroti still remains hopeful.

“You have to be optimistic,” he said.

“After all, a positive attitude can overcome many obstacles.”

On the bright side, the painting can’t be sold legally at least, because Plateroti still has the certificate that made it possible to travel with the painting and confirms its authenticity. 

By Simone Flückiger

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TOURISM

The new guide to Florence’s Uffizi Galleries – showing only the nudes

There are lots of guides to the visual splendours of Florence's world-famous galleries - but for those with a short attention span comes a new one, showing only nude or erotic artworks.

The new guide to Florence's Uffizi Galleries - showing only the nudes
Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" is the most famous work included in a controversial new guide to the Uffizi Galleries. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The online guide to the gallieries is produced by the porn website Pornhub and provide a list of the best erotic artworks in each museum, plus directions of how to get there – so you don’t need to waste your time looking at paintings of people in clothes.

Part of the site’s Classic Nudes series of ‘erotic’ guides to some of the world’s most renowned museums, the guide for the Uffizi lists 21 artworks, together with a tongue-in-cheek commentary, and the location of each piece within the galleries.

“The Uffizi Gallery is located in the birthplace of the Renaissance: Florence, Italy. So it’s no wonder it has such a large collection of artwork from the era. But what you may find surprising is the sheer volume and variety of naked bodies rendered in paint, bronze and marble in this marvelous museum,” writes Pornhub.

Among the works featured are Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (1485) and the Roman statue of the Knidian Aphrodite, dating from the 1st Century.

The guide also includes the Venus of Urbino by Titian (1538), which it calls “kinky”, and Painting and Poetry by Francesco Furini (1626), which is described as featuring “two ridiculously hot babes who just so happen to be making out”.

Titian’s “Venus of Urbino”. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Bosses at the Uffizi were not amused at the gallery’s inclusion in Pornhub’s series and have threatened to sue.

Meanwhile in Paris, the Louvre’s management has said only that it is ‘dismayed’, while the Musée d’Orsay remained silent on the subject.

As is hopefully clear, the Pornhub guides are explicit in nature and not suitable for children.

The Uffizi does, however, provide a great day out for all the family and contains a lot of fully-clothed artwork too. At present it is operating with reduced visitor numbers due to health rules, so advance booking to recommended.

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