US Helping Venezuela’s Guaido Track Stolen Art

(AP) –  U.S. officials are investigating the suspected looting of valuable European and Latin American artwork they believe is being quietly plundered by Venezuelan government insiders as Nicolas Maduro struggles to maintain his grip on power.

The U.S. Treasury in recent months has sought the cooperation of the FBI, Italian police and museum experts to identify and locate the missing artwork. Among the objects being traced: three Venezuelan masterpieces that hung for decades on the walls of the ambassador’s stately residence in Washington but which were nowhere to be found when opposition leader Juan Guaido’s envoy took over the diplomatic mission in May.

Although the paintings are the only ones unaccounted for, there are fears many more could be missing as Venezuela’s dire economic situation takes its toll on the country’s once prized collections and financial sanctions target corrupt insiders who have long used art as a way to launder money.

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