Spanish police recover Joaquín Sorolla painting worth €3 million.
Officers from the National Police located the painting in the Brussels and “took
steps to recover it” thanks to an intervention order issued by the Provincial Court of Malaga.
The owner of the work, entitled “Antes de la corrida” has been arrested as the “alleged perpetrator of a punishable insolvency crime”, and the painting has been handed over to the Embassy of Spain in Belgium.
The investigation began last June.
Officers specialised in Historical Heritage of the National Police carried out a search of a house in order to locate a series of works that should have been handed over to the Judicial authority as part of an insolvency hearing.
Among them, they were looking this particular painting which depicts preparations ahead of a bullfight.
🚩 RECUPERADO en #Bruselas un cuadro del pintor Joaquín Sorolla valorado en 3.000.000 de €
El propietario ha sido detenido como presunto autor de un delito de insolvencia punible pic.twitter.com/55Z4r9lnvG
— Policía Nacional (@policia) October 15, 2020
In a statement, the National Police said: “The diligence was unsuccessful as none of the claimed works were found, the owner stating that he had sold them to a company about four years ago.
“After that, officers reviewed the export permits and verified that the wanted painting had been granted an authorisation to leave our territory with the possibility of sale.
“For this reason, the appropriate investigation procedures were initiated in order to determine both the whereabouts of the work, as well as the identity of its owner.”
Investigators discovered the valuable work of art had been exhibited at an art and antique fair in New York, although, when the depositor noticed that there could be some type of claim on the painting, it was withdrawn from sale.
Further inquiries led police to a warehouse – and the painting – in Brussels.
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