A documentary aired on Monday evening (January 10) appeared to show a link between the island and an infamous art theft.
BBC4 hosted a Vincent Van Gogh evening earlier this week, showing a number of documentaries about the Dutch post-Impressionist painter.
One of the films, ‘Stealing Van Gogh‘, saw art historian and presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon battle the worlds of high art and organized crime to uncover the true story behind the world’s biggest art theft. of the 21st century.
In December 2002, two priceless and historically important paintings (“The Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church at Nuenen” and “View from the Sea at Scheveningen”) were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, “in a brutal and audacious theft by experienced, professional thieves”.
The two thieves broke into the museum by smashing a window, and managed to grab the paintings and get out in just three minutes.
Two Dutchmen were sentenced for the theft to terms of four and a half years, but the paintings were not immediately recovered.
One said he sold them to a drug dealer known only as “Pinocchio”.
The museum offered a reward of â??¬ 100,000 for any information leading to the recovery of the paintings.
After years of investigation and research, “Pinocchio” was finally identified in 2016 as an Italian by the name of Raffaele Imperiale.
The two paintings were discovered by the Guardia di Finanza in a villa belonging to the Camorra drug trafficker.
Imperiale’s sidekick was subsequently imprisoned but Imperiale himself managed to escape to Dubai which does not have an extradition treaty with Italy.
However, on August 4, 2021, Mr. Imperiale was indeed arrested in Dubai.
The only known photograph of him shown in the program was taken during a visit to the Isle of Man.
Pointing to the blurry photograph, Mr Graham-Dixon suggested it was likely taken when he was on a money laundering expedition or was here for tax purposes.
The documentary is now available on BBC iPlayer.