Stolen bust of Roman emperor turned Christian saint recovered in Spain
Sculpture from church bell tower found in back of a car
A fourth century bust of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, stolen from a small church in the north west of Spain, has been recovered by the Guardia Civil, Spain’s national police force has announced. Six people have been detained after an operation that focused on Seville in the south. Climbing equipment and rope had been found after the robbery in February when the bust disappeared from the bell tower of the Church of San Pedro, Quintana del Marco, a town in the province of León. The emperor’s head, probably first discovered nearby as the area is rich in Roman remains, had stood in for Saint Peter since the 18th century. Police in Cordoba recovered the bust after a car was stopped and searched in the city. Meanwhile, the newspaper El País reports that in a separate operation, Spanish police in Seville have recovered 50 pieces of religious art believed to have been stolen from churches across the province of Andalusia and in Portugal since 2006. Two people have been arrested.