Victoria Kennedy Residence In Vienna Burgled And 400 Year Old Flemish Tapestry Worth GBP 593,000 Stolen

Police have started a search after a 400-year-old Flemish tapestry estimated at GBP 593,000 was stolen from the premises of the US embassy in Austria’s capital Vienna where Victoria Kennedy will soon be living.

Austria’s Federal Criminal Police Office reported that the object was stolen from the house that is set to be her official residence when she moves to take up position as US ambassador to the country.

The property is owned by the US embassy in the city of Vienna’s 19th District, known as Dobbling, and it is believed it was stolen probably on 1st August.

Named “Atlas and Fortuna as Patron Saints of the World”, the valuable tapestry was estimated at EUR 700,000 (GBP 593000) and bears the signature of the Brussels master Jan Gheteels.

The unique work of art belongs to an important period before 1550, when Flemish culture came under Italian influence and was deeply affected by the rich Renaissance figurative style associated with Michelangelo.

Credit: Bundeskriminalamt Osterreich/Newsflash
The 400-year-old tapestry estimated at EUR 700,000 (GBP 593,000) that was stolen from the US embassy in the Austrian capital Vienna.

After repairs and reweaving by the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) brought the tapestry back to vibrant life in 2000, it was set on the wall of the Deputy Chief of Mission’s residence in the Austrian capital.

The tapestry measuring 280 centimetres (110 in) in length and 259 centimetres (102 in) in width was reported missing after a witness heard an alarm coming from the house and notified the police.

According to the police, the residence was empty at the time of the crime, while the entrance door of the house was left open. Police officers also found a lit floor lamp.

The incident follows the departure of ex-Ambassador Trevor Traina and his team, as the residency was getting ready to welcome his designated successor, Victoria Kennedy.

Kennedy, who is 67, is the widow of former US Senator Ted Kennedy, the younger brother of former US attorney general Robert Kennedy who was assassinated in 1968.

She was married previously and had two children and had first met Ted Kennedy when she was working as a summer intern in the Senate office after her college graduation.

They later met again in 1991 and got engaged a year later, and insiders say that she had been the one that turned him away from a reputation as a womanising drinker back to becoming a successful politician, including helping him with campaigning working alongside him until he eventually died of brain cancer in 2009.

Construction workers carrying out renovation work at the time are among the suspects, although former diplomatic staff are also the target of investigators.

As the house was owned by a state agency, the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Fight against Terrorism are also involved in the search.

The investigation continues.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: James King, Agency:  Newsflash

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