Italian Tax Police Seize Masterpieces Belonging to Founder of Dairy Company Parmalat


Italian tax police officers hold a Giuseppe De Nittis painting, one of the 19 masterpieces which was seized in Parma, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Italian tax police have seized a secret attic and basement stash of Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Cezanne and other art works from the disgraced founder of Parmalat, the dairy company that collapsed a few years ago under billions of dollars of debt. Authorities estimated the total value of the works at more than 100 million euros / $150 million USD. / AP Photo/Marco Vasini.

ROME (AP).- Italian tax police said Saturday that
they had seized works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne and other giants of art in a
crackdown on assets hidden by the disgraced founder of the collapsed dairy
company Parmalat.
Parma Prosecutor Gerardo Laguardia said that, based
on wiretapped phone conversations, officials believed at least one of the
paintings hidden by Calisto Tanzi, founder of the dairy company
Parmalat was about to be sold. Authorities estimated the 19
masterpieces stashed away in attics and basements were valued at some euro100
million ($150 million). No arrests, as yet,  were announced as part of the
art seizure.