Louvre reunited with ‘exceptional’ armour stolen in 1983

The Louvre in Paris has been reunited with two long-lost pieces of Italian Renaissance armour, nearly 40 years after they were stolen, the BBC reports.

The ornate helmet and breastplate had been recognized by a military expert in Bordeaux, who was asked to appraise a local family’s collection.

Police are investigating how the family came to inherit the items.

Made between 1560 and 1580 in Milan, the armour had been donated in 1922 to the museum by the Rothschild family.

Mystery still surrounds the theft on 31 May, 1983.

“I was certain we would see them reappear one day… But I could never have imagined that it would work out so well – that they would be in France and still together,” said Philippe Malgouyres, the Louvre’s chief curator of heritage artworks.

The museum’s director, Jean-Luc Martinez, said they were “objects of pomp and circumstance”.

“These are quite exceptional pieces that belonged to the collection of the Baroness de Rothschild and were donated to the Louvre Museum in 1922,” he said.

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