Handyman Stole 400 Picasso Works: Artist's Stepdaughter

He may have gotten another 200 from a neighbor

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 16, 2013 1:22 PM CDT

(Newser) – One of the most brazen art thefts in a while appears to have been ridiculously easy: Picasso's stepdaughter says a handyman stole 407 works out of a file cabinet—and the same guy allegedly stole another 200 pieces by Picasso, Kandinsky, and other artists from her neighbor, reports the Telegraph. The works taken from stepdaughter Catherine Hutin-Blay—the daughter of Picasso's second wife—are mostly sketches and watercolors,with a value ballparked between $2 million and $3 million.

"I went to the filing cabinet to check that the artworks were still there and they were no longer there," Hutin-Blay tells the French-language Le Parisien. She checked after one of the pieces supposedly locked away in the cabinet surfaced at an auction. Her neighbor and fellow theft victim is Sylvie Baltazart-Eon, the daughter of Picasso's art dealer, reports the Daily Mail. The same handyman worked at both their houses. The coverage doesn't make clear whether police also suspect him, but an investigation is underway. No arrests have been made, and only 22 of the 600-plus missing pieces have been recovered.

In this 1953 file photo, artist Pablo Picasso looks at a Portrait of a Woman in his studio in Vallauris, French Riviera.
In this 1953 file photo, artist Pablo Picasso looks at a "Portrait of a Woman" in his studio in Vallauris, French Riviera.   (AP Photo)
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