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Art Theft

A historic church in the City of London is to be reunited with a magnificent 16th-century carving that was stolen from it decades ago.

St Katharine Cree church in Leadenhall Street is a survivor of both the Great Fire of 1666 and the second world war blitz, while the 80cm-high alabaster carving was part of a monument to Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, a prominent figure in the reign of Elizabeth I, dating from the 1570s. The diplomat was the uncle of Sir Francis Throckmorton, a conspirator in the Throckmorton Plot.

Klaas Muller, an art specialist in Brussels, bought the work in good faith in Belgium last year. He agreed to return it unconditionally after being approached by Christopher A Marinello, a lawyer and director of Art Recovery International, which specialises in the recovery of stolen, missing and disputed cultural property.

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