A PICASSO painting worth €25 million owned by Jaime Botin, a banker and member of the Santander Botin family, has been seized by French customs officials from a boat in Corsica, thought to be on route to Switzerland.
According to French authorities, the work of art was intercepted on Friday July 31 as it had been prohibited from export by Spanish authorities, after an earlier attempt to take it to Switzerland in May 2015 when Spanish courts declared it a national treasure and stated that it should never be taken out of Spain.
French customs requested documents from the boat’s captain, who presented them with papers confirming the court ruling. The painting’s owner, Jaime Botin, brother of Santander Bank’s former president Emilio Botin, had originally sought to export the artwork to London in 2012 but it was opposed by the Spanish culture minister.
The painting, Head of a Woman, has also been named by Madrid’s Reina Sofia museum as a piece of exceptional importance and cultural heritage as it was created in Picasso’s Gosol period when his work is said to have been influenced by Spanish art.
The painting is expected to be returned to Spanish authorities once they make an official request.