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Picasso painting stolen 20 years ago found in Amsterdam
27 March 2019 @ 12:47

A PICASSO painting stolen 20 years ago has been found in Amsterdam by Dutch art investigator Arthur Brand, who says its disappearance means the thieves were ‘unable to sell it’.

Busto de Mujer (‘Bust of a Woman’) was owned by Saudi Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Abdulmalik, who bought it from Pace Gallery in New York in the 1980s for an undisclosed sum.

When it was stolen from his yacht in France in 1999, it was reported to be worth €4 million.

As time went on and the painting failed to appear, French authorities were forced to close the case since, in

the majority of cases – according to Brand – when a major work of such high value vanishes into thin air, it is usually because the thieves were unable to sell it as they could not prove its authenticity or its origin, meaning they end up simply destroying it to avoid being caught.

The owner had offered a €400,000 reward for its safe return – 10% of its estimated value at the time of its loss – but after giving up all hope of its ever being recovered, received a €4m payout from his insurance company.

As a result of the claim, the now-recovered painting legally belongs to the insurance company, which is due to put it up for auction.

A United States-based art expert is currently in the Dutch capital analysing the picture to verify its condition before offering it for sale again to Abdulmalik.



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