Finding A Stolen Gustav Klimt Painting
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Last week, a startling discovery at the Ricci Oddi art gallery in Piacenza, Italy - gardeners clearing ivy on an exterior wall unearthed a hidden panel. Inside was a painting believed to be by Gustav Klimt, the 19th century Austrian artist. It had been stolen from the gallery nearly 23 years ago.
DARIO GALLINARI: Dario Gallinari, like the Italian basketball player Danilo Gallinari. I was the first person who see the Klimt.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Mr. Gallinari is the gallery employee who ID'd the painting, titled "Portrait Of A Lady," after the workers brought it to him. The colors were unmistakable.
GALLINARI: The first time I think they were joking. But in reality, I see a little part of the canvas. And I see immediately the color of the dress of the woman. And after that, we call the police.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And that's where the painting is now - with the police as they try to figure out how it ended up in the hidden panel. And experts verify its authenticity. For Dario Gallinari, that moment of realization that he was looking at the stolen Klimt will not quickly fade.
GALLINARI: I was so emotion (laughter) - so emotional and so exciting. I think I never forget this particular experience in all of my life. Yeah.
(SOUNDBITE OF FLITZ AND SUPPE'S "ACTIVELY IDLE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.