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5 Oct, 2007 11:37

Stolen Da Vinci code cracked

One of the world's most wanted stolen artworks has been returned to its owners after a four-year hunt. The “Madonna with the Yarnwinder” by Leonardo Da Vinci was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle in the south of Scotland in August 2003.

An international search was launched and the painting was put on the FBI's Top 10 of most wanted pieces of artwork.

The masterpiece painted between 1500 and 1510 depicts the Madonna with the infant Jesus holding a cross-shaped yarn winder. It belonged to the 9th Duke of Buccleuch who died last month aged 83.

The 500-year-old painting is the only Da Vinci in private ownership and is said to be worth more than $US 30 MLN.

Four men have been arrested in connection with the theft.