No links between Georgia and a lost panting by famous Dutch artist Anthony van Dyck that was found in Istanbul have been confirmed, the Turkish side says.
e Turkish officials said the two men arrested in connection with the case were Turk nationals and Turkish citizens and had no proved links with Georgia.
A statesmen was made by Georgia’s Interior Ministry too.
"Two ethnic Turks have been detained in Turkey. According to the Interior Ministry’s attache to Turkey, the detained, as well as the seized items, have not been confirmed as having links with Georgia,” the Ministry said.
The expensive panting was found in Istanbul after two businessmen who attempted to sell the painting were caught in the act earlier this week.
Turkish media reported, the Istanbul Directorate of Anti-Smuggling and Organised Crime was informed the van Dyck painting was stolen from a European country and brought to Istanbul after passing through Russia and Georgia.
The police, posing as prospective buyers, got in touch with two textile businessmen and agreed to buy the painting for 14 million Turkish Liras.
The businessmen asked the police to rent two rooms in a luxurious hotel in Istanbul’s Topkapi neighborhood. The police rented the rooms and invited them there. And as soon as the businessmen came to the room, the operation started and the businessmen, identified as A.S. and I.K., were taken into custody.
They said they had bought the painting in Georgia from a robbery gang for $200,000 USD.
An initial examination made by experts from the Painting and Sculpture Museum identified the painting as an original, however a final report will be made by an expert team from the Mimar Sinan University Fine Arts Faculty.
Van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders (present-day Belgium). He also painted biblical and mythological subjects, displayed outstanding ability as a draughtsman and was an important innovator in watercolor and etching.