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Art Stolen From Budapest’s Jewish Museum Recovered in Romania

July 6, 1994

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) _ Police have recovered most of a $60 million collection of Jewish treasures stolen in December from the main synagogue in Budapest, Hungary, officials said Wednesday. Two people were in custody.

Nearly 90 percent of the stolen items were recovered May 11-12 near Bucharest, police Chief Gen. Ioan Pitulescu said, according to the state news agency Rompres.

Two suspects, identified as Emilian Stefan and Nicolae Chirita, were in custody. News media said they had joint Romanian and German citizenship.

Stefan was being held in Vienna, Austria, and Chirita in Frankfurt, Germany, the Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

Pitulescu refused to give further details, saying the investigation was continuing. MTI quoted him as saying the treasures would be returned to Hungary within a month.

Stolen Dec. 12, 1993, the Jewish treasures consisted of 184 pieces collected since 1916, including items used by Hungarian Jews in their homes and synagogues, gold and silver religious relics, paintings and carpets.

Hungarian and Romanian police and Israeli authorities participated in the investigation, the reports said.

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