Stolen Judaica Collection Returned
Menu JTA Search

Stolen Judaica Collection Returned

Download PDF for this date

Little over eight months after it disappeared, a valuable collection of Judaica stolen from the Budapest Jewish Museum has been returned.

With tight security measures in place, the treasures were returned late Wednesday evening from Romania, where they were found in late June.

The collection, valued at some $200 million, consists of more than 180 pieces collected since 1916, including gold and silver religious objects, paintings and carpets.

Two suspects in the case, Romanian citizens identified as Emilian Stefan and Nicolae Chirita, were arrested in Vienna and Frankfurt, respectively, and Hungarian authorities are currently seeking their extradition.

Local reports indicate there may have been additional people involved in the robbery.

According to Hungary’s police chief, Gen. Ion Pitulescu, the Mossad, Israel’s secret service, helped Hungarian and Romanian police track down the collection.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund