Turkish police have recovered an original painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso in an undercover operation in Istanbul, state-run Anatolia news agency reported on Saturday. The operation targeted alleged art thieves attempting to sell the painting “Woman Dressing Her Hair” which was stolen from a collector in New York, Anatolia said.
Turkish police, posing as potential buyers, met the prospective sellers at a hotel and then at a yacht in an Istanbul marina, the report revealed.
The suspects are alleged to have initially demanded 8 million dollars for the painting but later settled on 7 million. The officers then arranged a meeting Friday at a cafe, where they arrested two people, Anatolia said, citing police sources. The woman who appears in the 1940 painting is Dora Maar-Picasso’s lover and longtime muse, who is depicted in grotesque fashion, with sunken ribcage, swollen stomach and enormous feet. The painting was sent to Istanbul’s Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University for examination, Anatolia said. — AFP