Thieves are tricked into stealing FAKE portray from Italian church after police switched £2.5 million masterpiece for a reproduction due to a tip-off

  • Detectives in Castelnuovo Magra, in Liguria, Italy, received wind of a deliberate heist
  • Changed a 17th century portray by Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel with a pretend
  • Additionally put in cameras at Santa Maria Maddalena church to catch the robbers

Emine Sinmaz for the Every day Mail

It appears like one thing out of a Hollywood film.

In a deception to rival the convoluted plots of thrillers akin to The Thomas Crown Affair, a gang of Italian thieves had been fooled into stealing a nugatory portray.

And even the mayor and different townsfolk had been in on the plot.

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Italian police switched a 17th century canvas by Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Youthful – price round 3million euros (£2.6m) – from a church and changed it with a pretend.

Detectives within the city of Castelnuovo Magra, in Liguria, had received wind of the deliberate heist and secretly put in safety cameras at Santa Maria Maddalena church.

They’re now finding out the footage after robbers broke in to the church with a crowbar and smashed the paintings’s show case with a hammer.

Italian police switched a 17th century canvas by Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Younger - worth around 3million euros (£2.6m) - from a church and replaced it with a fake

Italian police switched a 17th century canvas by Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Younger - worth around 3million euros (£2.6m) - from a church and replaced it with a fake

Italian police switched a 17th century canvas by Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Youthful – price round 3million euros (£2.6m) – from a church and changed it with a pretend

They sped off in a white Peugeot with the portray – an outline of the Crucifixion – at lunchtime on Wednesday.

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Mayor Daniele Montebello – who was in on the ruse – initially informed reporters that the portray was ‘a piece of inestimable worth, a tough blow for our group’.

However he later revealed: ‘The unique portray was changed by a duplicate greater than a month in the past.

‘We had been listening to rumours that somebody needed to steal it, so the Carabinieri (Italy’s paramilitary police pressure) introduced within the pretend and put in safety cameras.’

He additionally thanked members of the church who had ‘observed that the one on show was not the unique, however didn’t reveal the key’.

Detectives in the town of Castelnuovo Magra, in Liguria, had got wind of the planned heist and secretly installed security cameras at Santa Maria Maddalena church (pictured)

Detectives in the town of Castelnuovo Magra, in Liguria, had got wind of the planned heist and secretly installed security cameras at Santa Maria Maddalena church (pictured)

Detectives within the city of Castelnuovo Magra, in Liguria, had received wind of the deliberate heist and secretly put in safety cameras at Santa Maria Maddalena church (pictured) 

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Pieter Bruegel the Youthful was the son of one other Flemish artist, Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

The 26in by 17in canvas is a duplicate of a piece by his father.

The portray – donated to the church by a rich household within the 19th century – was stolen almost 40 years in the past.

It was later discovered within the house of a convicted felony who had simply been launched from jail.

They are now studying the footage after robbers broke in to the church with a crowbar and smashed the artwork¿s display case with a hammer

They are now studying the footage after robbers broke in to the church with a crowbar and smashed the artwork¿s display case with a hammer

They’re now finding out the footage after robbers broke in to the church with a crowbar and smashed the paintings’s show case with a hammer

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