14 paintings by Irish artist Michelle Rogers have finally been released by Italian police after being held for two years as evidence in an investigation involving her gallerist Massimo Micucci.
In February 2010, the large-scale paintings from her "On Earth as it is in Heaven" exhibition were seized by authorities who believed that the works belonged to Micucci, the owner of the Aequalias gallery on Via Margutta.
Police arrested Micucci as part of their ongoing investigation into a massive tax fraud and money laundering scandal involving Silvio Scaglia, the billionaire owner of Italian telecommunications company Fastweb.
Following a two-year campaign through the Italian justice system, Rogers describes herself as "incredibly relieved" to have her paintings back, and paid tribute to Rome's embassy of Ireland for its role in helping to retrieve her works.
She learnt of the paintings' release on 20 March – the day before the opening of her latest Rome exhibition "Shadows of Eden" at the FDA project gallery, located between Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Ponte S. Angelo. The exhibited works explore the relationship between man and nature, and are on show until 29 April.
A human rights activist as well as an artist, Rogers was selected by Amnesty International to travel to Bosnia in 1993, after which she completed a series of paintings based on her experiences.
Since then she has staged various high-profile exhibitions around the world, and divides her time between Rome, New York and Dublin.
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