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Stolen national heritage returns from Lithuania

This week the State Inspection for Heritage Protection has retrieved two pieces of protected heritage. The Tirza Lutheran Church candlesticks were stolen in the late 90s and taken away from the country, the heritage protection authority told the press Wednesday.

This February Virgilijus Poviliunas, director of the Trakų history museum, contacted the heritage authority saying that two art objects - silver candlesticks - with craftsman and city markings suggesting a Latvian origin have been put on sale in Lithuania.

As the candlesticks have been retrieved, they are understood to have been bought by the authority.

Experts from the authority concluded that the candlesticks on sale are the ones stolen from the Tirza Lutheran Church in 1997 together with the chandelier. Criminal proceedings were initiated at the time, however the candlesticks were put on sale after the statute of limitations expired.

The candlesticks of the Tirza Lutheran Church were made at the workshop of Johan Diedrich Revald (1706-1781). He was both an elder at a craft guild and an educator who influenced the silver working traditions of Rīga immensely. 

The candlestick features a trihedronal base that supports the baluster-like stem - a combination characteristic of baroque, however also featuring accents pertaining to rococo. This is a rare find as Latvia's decorative art history does not feature many silver candlesticks pertaining to baroque and late baroque. 

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