STAFF REPORTER
THIEVES have brazenly stolen art treasures to the value of 600'000 from the Jesuit church of Monti-sion church situated in the historic centre of Palma.

It was the second occasion that irreplaceable artefacts had been noticed missing from the church interior because a first complaint had been lodged with police last week when a member of the congregation alerted National Police over the disappearances.

Thieves have taken a series of carvings, sculptures and altarpieces, generally dating from the Baroque period. The most important work is an altarpiece by Milanese artist Camilo Silvestro Parrino which has been valued at 150'000 euros. Measuring 84 x 44 centimetres, the artist worked on the masterpiece representing Christ in the Temple in Jerusalem between 1607 and 1609.

The National Police Robbery Squad have opened an investigation to establish exactly what happened and to attempt to track down the thieves. Over the past few years, several art treasures in Monti-sion church have been restored to their former glory thanks to careful restoration work. One such altarpiece, originally created by a local master craftsman, dates back to the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Father Miguel Garau, prefect at Monti-sion has meanwhile condemned the thefts. “The person, or people, who enter this, or any other church, with the intention of robbing it, deserves no compassion.,” he said yesterday.

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