Italian police seize €15 million Picasso


Picasso Cubism 1937 by Ian Burt. Full photo credit at end of article

The Italian police have seized a Picasso painting from the apartment of a retiree who claims that the piece was a gift given in 1978.

According to the owner, a Rome-based frame maker, a client had given him the artwork as a gift, without mentioning either its creator or value, after he had repaired the frame of a photograph of his late partner free of charge. The frame-maker discovered in 2014 that the work was by Picasso. The police intervened after the retiree called Sotheby’s to sell the work, then estimated at €1.4 million, and the auction house asked the Italian authorities to authorise the export of the work. After it was revealed that the owner did not have a certificate of ownership, an official inquest followed.

Photo by Ian Burt used under creative commons license