'Lost Michelangelo' goes missing from Belgian church

Photo of 'Lost Michelangelo' goes missing from Belgian church

Police called after 16th-century painting disappears days before expert due to visit

It is a storyline worthy of a Hercule Poirot whodunnit. After confiding in just 20 trusted people of his suspicion that a painting in his church was a lost masterpiece, a priest in the small Flemish town of Zele, 45 miles north of Brussels, has had to call in the local police over its sudden disappearance.

Pastor Jan Van Raemdonck, 61, turned to the detectives after two women laying flowers in the nave of the Sint-Ludgerus church last Friday morning discovered that the 16th-century painting, known as the Holy Family, had gone missing from its usual position by the altar.

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