KYIV (QHA) -

Ukraine handed the collection of 17 paintings to Italy, which was kidnapped from a museum in Verona, and found in the Odesa region. President Poroshenko took part in the event, presidential spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko tweeted.

“President participates in the transfer of 17 paintings to a museum in Verona, found by Ukrainian law enforcement officers,” he wrote.

Ukrainian border guards discovered the stolen Italian painting on Turunchuk island in the Odesa region in May. A total of 17 paintings by well-known European masters were identified, including the works by Rubens, Tintoretto, Caroto and a number of other artists.

The paintings were stolen from the Italian museum Castelvecchio late last year and hid on a small island in a tributary of the Dniester. Among the members of an international criminal group were citizens of Ukraine, Russia and Moldova.

In November, a resident of the Italian city of Verona sued the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, whom he accused of embezzling 17 paintings stolen from the local museum.

QHA