Turkish security forces caught alleged artwork traffickers on Saturday suspected of attempting to smuggle a painting signed by world-famous Italian artist Filippo Palizzi.
Anti-smuggling teams in the southwestern Milas district of Mugla province had received intelligence that several historical objects were going to be brought from outside the city to be sold, according to a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The teams raided a hotel room of three suspects and found the painting in their possession.
Sporting Palizzi's name, the painting measures 50 by 70 centimeters (19.6 by 27.5 inches).
It is thought to date back to the late 19th century and is worth millions of Turkish liras.
Palizzi died in 1899 and is known especially his for paintings of genre scenes of children with animals.
*Contributions and writing by Sena Guler in Ankara