February 2, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Trial begins for Picasso theft

A 50-year-old man who stole works by Picasso, Mondrian and Montcalvo from the National Gallery will stand trial today.

The fate of valuable works of art was unknown for 9 years, until the perpetrator was found before leaving for the Netherlands. Two of the three works of art found have been returned to the National Gallery.

An artist, also known as an “art freak”, will sit in the dock, having admitted his guilt since the moment of his arrest. He is accused of a notorious case of stealing works of artistic value from a collection on display in the public building of the National Gallery. It was he who broke into the National Gallery and stole The Woman’s Head, work No. 1357, Picasso’s reference to the muse Dore Maar, The Mill (1905) from the first period of the Dutchman Piet Mondrian, and an early seventeenth-century drawing of a religious image attributed to the Italian Guglielmo Caccia ( Montcalvo).

In the area of ​​Keratea, two of the three works were found in June 2021. The thief took them there when information began to leak out that the authorities were very close to finding the location of the perpetrator.

After the arrest, the man was taken into custody and released in the summer of 2022 with an “electronic bracelet”. “It happened because of my passion for art. Every person can make mistakes in their life. I wanted to add to my collection,” the kidnapper said when he was released from his cell under “special supervision”. He claimed that he acted alone: ​​“Anyone could enter through the unlocked balcony door, kick through the drywall. If you’ve seen the films, you can do it.” As it became known, two more years before “theft of the century” the man began to think about how to “turn the little business.”

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