A PICASSO painting was dropped by officers after recovering pieces stolen in a 2012 art heist in Athens.
The Cubist Picasso piece, “Head of a Woman” (1939), was personally donated to Greece by the Spanish master in recognition of the country’s resistance to the Nazi Germany regime. However, an art heist in which many famous pieces were stolen saw the painting disappear until now.
During the press conference, where it was revealed that artworks had been found, footage shows officers letting the painting drop to the floor. Luckily, there was no damage caused to the piece! The painting slid off its perch and an officer swiftly picked it up from the ground.
— Naomi O'Leary (@NaomiOhReally) June 29, 2021
Police said that a builder, 49, had confessed to the 2012 art heist and has now been arrested, claiming his motives were his love of art and that he did not intend to sell the paintings. He had initially hidden the pieces in a house before recently moving them to thick vegetation at a local gorge.
“Today is a special day, (a day of) great joy and emotion,” Culture Minister Lina Mendoni told reporters.
Mendoni claimed that the painting would have been “impossible” to sell because Picasso had personally inscribed on the back “For the Greek people, a tribute by Picasso.”
“This painting is of particular importance and sentimental value to the Greek people, as it was personally dedicated by the great painter to the Greek people for their fight against fascist and Nazi forces,” Mendoni said.
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