Rare French paintings found after missing for 40 years

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ROME, ITALY- It always goes like this: missing something? It will inevitably be in the last place you check.

In the case of two paintings worth millions of bucks…cops found them hanging in a Sicilian autoworker’s kitchen.

The two masterpieces– one by Paul Gauguin and the other Pierre Bonnard– went missing from a London home in 1970. Then, like something out of an old Hollywood movie, they were left on a train from Paris to Turin– a conductor found them and put them in the lost and found.

Which is how that auto worker bought them for a grand total of thirty dollars at an auction… and hung them up in his kitchen for 40 years. The Gauguin, called “fruit on a table” is estimated to be worth $40 million dollars. That’s some expensive fruit!

The paintings caught the eye of the cops when the man’s son decided to sell them– and after a lengthy investigation (this was in Italy– they take their time there) they were found to be the original paintings.

In this case, it wasn’t just finders keepers- the paintings were handed over. Now, the Carabinieri (that’s Italian for police) have to figure out what to do with them, since the original owner left no heirs.

Put ’em on Craigslist?