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14 PAINTINGS ARE RETURNED AFTER SECRET TALKS

Fourteen valuable Old Master paintings stolen in a daring 1988 gallery heist have been returned after secret negotiations involving a large reward, it was announced Saturday.

The paintings were returned in good condition to the Colnaghi Gallery on Manhattan's Upper East Side late Friday by police, to whom they had been delivered on Monday, said Connie Lowenthal, director of the International Foundation for Art Research."No arrests have been made yet," said Lowenthal, whose organization is involved in the recovery of stolen art.

The paintings were among 19 stolen on Feb. 8, 1988, by thieves who lowered themselves by rope from a gallery skylight down a four-story stairwell.