'Lost Picasso painting' seized in gendarmerie raid
ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires | 3/27/2011 12:00:00 AM |
A painting by Pablo Picasso that was reportedly stolen from Kuwait during the Gulf War has been found in Balıkesir, a western Turkish province.
A painting rumored to be by Pablo Picasso that was stolen from the Kuwait Museum in 1990 or 1991 during the Gulf War has been found in Balıkesir, a western Turkish province.
According to the Anatolia news agency, gendarmerie forces were tipped off that a painting by Picasso was going to be sold in Balıkesir. The gendarmerie gathered information that an original Picasso painting was in the hands of an Istanbul-based, 41-year-old man whose name was not disclosed, and that he was looking for a customer. Security forces then started to follow the suspect.
The suspect apparently made a deal to sell the painting in Balıkesir and took a bus from Istanbul to the district. At the bus terminal, gendarmerie forces moved in and apprehended the suspect with the painting.
The Anatolia news agency said the painting depicts “a sitting, naked woman,” adding that at the bottom of the picture the words “Picasso 1924” are seen, while the back has writing and a seal that shows it belongs to the Kuwait Museum. The agency also said the painting is worth around $10 million.
The painting in question is alleged to be none other than “The Naked Woman,” a Picasso work that was looted from Kuwait during Iraq’s 1990 invasion.
However, that painting was seized on Aug. 25, 2007, during a police raid in the south of Baghdad. Various news stories at the time cast doubt on the authenticity of the painting.
It is not clear how “The Naked Woman” came to Istanbul. However, the suspect was arrested and sent to jail after his questioning at the gendarmerie.