Undercover operation leads police to long-lost Flemish masterpiece

Turkish police have arrested two textile businessmen who attempted to sell what is thought to be a long-lost work by Flemish master painter Anthony van Dyck.

In an elaborate undercover operation, policemen posed as buyers and negotiated a price of 14 million lira (£3.2 million) for the work, which is believed to have been smuggled from Europe. They agreed to meet with the businessmen, Malkhaz Makharadze and Zahir Huseinov, in a luxury hotel room in Istanbul’s Topkapi neighbourhood. When they arrived to collect the sale proceeds, the men fell directly into the trap that had been laid for them. Continue reading