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Friday, October 28, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Sprengel Museum Picasso's Serbian Adventure Over, Back-Story Like Swiss Cheese

Serbia returns stolen Picasso works to Switzerland

Serbian authorities have returned two stolen Pablo Picasso paintings recently found in Belgrade to Switzerland, Serbian newspaper Blitz reported on Friday.

The works, Tête de cheval (Head of a Horse), created by Picasso in 1962, and Verre et pichet (Glass and Pitcher), painted in 1944, were stolen from an exhibition in the town of Pfaeffikon, near Zurich, in February 2008. The paintings, worth millions of dollars, were on loan from the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, Germany, at the time of the theft.

The paintings were discovered in Belgrade in the beginning of October by Serbian police as a result of a joint investigation with Swiss authorities.

According to unconfirmed reports, they were hidden in a safe deposit box in a Serbian bank.

No arrests have been made so far in connection with the theft, but police are trying to ascertain who brought the paintings into Serbia, when and how, the Blitz said citing an unidentified police source.

The Swiss authorities cooperating with the Serbian police have turned over a large amount of evidence that could help with the investigation, the paper said.

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