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Dead man found in Regent’s Canal was Venice art thief

PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:16 01 October 2015

Sabstiano Magnanini's body was found submerged in Regent's Canal last week. Police say he had been living in south London (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Sabstiano Magnanini's body was found submerged in Regent's Canal last week. Police say he had been living in south London (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Archant

A dead man whose tattooed body was pulled from Regent’s Canal in the Islington Tunnel last week has been identified, and police are treating his death as ‘suspicious’.

A detail from the painting Sebastiono Magnanini stole in 1993 (Image: Wikimedia Commons)A detail from the painting Sebastiono Magnanini stole in 1993 (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Homicide and Major Crime Command are investigating how the remains of Sebastiano Magnanini, which were discovered just after 9am on Thursday September 24, came to be in the canal.

The 46-year-old’s body, identifiable from his distinctive tattoos, was reportedly found submerged and tied to a shopping trolley.

Italian news reports said that Mr Magnanini was originally from Venice and had only been in London for a few months.

Newspaper La Republicca said he was jailed for 18 months in 1998 over the 1993 theft of a painting, The Education of the Virgin, by 18th-century artist Giovanni Tiepolo from a church in Venice. The painting was reportedly worth two billion lire.

Detectives have appealed for information from anyone who saw Mr Magnanini in the days before his body was found near the Islington Tunnel, not far from King’s Cross station.

They also want to speak to anyone who was in Muriel Street, close to the tunnel entrance.

Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Reeves, from the Metropolitan Police’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “This has been devastating for Sebastiano’s family.

“On the afternoon of Tuesday September 22, Sebastiano travelled into central London on public transport. I would like to hear from anyone who may have seen him in the Euston area at around 4.50pm. We also believe that he was in the King’s Cross and Caledonian Road area at around 6.50pm.

“If you think you may have seen Sebastiano at any point or you know what happened to him, please get in contact.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police via the incident room on 020 8721 4868, alternatively, the police non-emergency line on 101 or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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