Swiss Court Refuses to Return Art Piece Illegally Exported from Italy

By in

The Supreme Court in Switzerland has ruled that a 16th-century portrait of Isabella d’Este, that has been exported by its legitimate owner from Italy to Switzerland. Without clearing the correct export forms, the owner therefore carried out an illicit transfer which renders the painting stuck: it can no longer be returned to Italy, its country of origin, despite Italian requests from officials.

Italian legislation provides that original artwork created over 70 years ago by a deceased artist cannot be exported without an Italian export license, however the Swiss court refused the painting’s return citing 2 reasons for their rebuttal:

Because the painting is not owned by the Italian government.
Because the painting was not listed in an Italian inventory.