Stolen Picasso Painting With Huge Sentimental Value Found

Artist intended for the Greek people to have it in recognition of their Nazi resistance
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2021 6:18 AM CDT
Updated Jun 29, 2021 6:44 AM CDT
Stolen Picasso Painting With Huge Sentimental Value Found
A cubist female bust by the Spanish painter Picasso, left, and a 1905 representational oil painting of a riverside windmill by the Dutch painter Mondrian are displayed by police officers, in Athens during a press conference, on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

A Picasso painting that was stolen in January 2012 and has particular meaning to the Greek people has been recovered. The BBC reports the artist himself gave "Head of a Woman" to Greece in 1949 in honor of the country's resistance to the Nazis. Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said it would have been impossible for the thief to sell the painting because Picasso had written the following on the painting's rear: "For the Greek people, a tribute by Picasso." Said Mendoni, per the AFP, "This painting is of particular importance and sentimental value to the Greek people ... Today is a special day, [a day of] great joy and emotion." That painting was stolen with two others from the National Gallery in Athens and was found in Keratea, which sits about 30 miles to the southeast.

The art heist was completed in just seven minutes and saw two other paintings also cut from their frames: Piet Mondrian's "Stammer Windmill," which was recovered alongside the Picasso, and a sketch by Guglielmo Caccia that was reportedly damaged during the course of the theft and discarded. Reuters reports one Greek man has been arrested after the paintings were found in a gorge. It's believed two men carried out the heist, which happened when just one security guard was working and involved the thieves triggering a false alarm in another part of the museum to draw the guard away, reports Reuters. A subsequent inquiry chided the museum for its lax security, with some parts of the museum not captured by security camera and alarms that didn't work reliably. (Read more Pablo Picasso stories.)

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