Greek police found stolen paintings of Picasso and Mondrian

The works “Woman’s Head” and “Windmill” were taken from the Athens Art Gallery in 2012.

Greek police found stolen paintings by Pablo Picasso and Pete Mondrian. The works “Woman’s Head” and “Windmill” were taken from the art gallery in Athens in 2012, writes Kathimerini. The perpetrators of the theft in 2012 also took a sketch from the beginning of the 17th century, attributed to the Italian mannerist Julielmo Cacha. This sketch was found damaged.

The work “Head of a Woman” by the famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and the canvas “Windmill” by the Dutchman Pete Mondrian, one of the founders of abstract painting, were taken along with another painting in a robbery nine years ago. The two works of art were found in the Greek town of Keratea.

Local media reported that the police had arrested a 49-year-old Greek man. It is believed that he was preparing to export the works illegally abroad, where he would sell them.

“Woman’s Head” was created in 1939 and was donated to the gallery in Athens by Picasso himself in 1949. It is the only work of the artist in the museum’s collection.

Mondrian’s painting was created in 1905. In 1963 it was bought by the Greek collector Alexandros Papas, who donated it to the gallery.

The two works were taken from the Athens gallery in January 2012. In just seven minutes, the thieves had managed to break into the museum, remove the paintings from their frames and escape. During the investigation it became clear that the security of the gallery is quite burglary, there are not enough cameras, and the thieves had managed to deceive the guards, by activating the alarm several times the night before the robbery and thus distracting their attention.

Although two men were arrested and convicted of theft, the identity of the guarantor remains a mystery.

Picasso painted “Woman’s Head” in 1939. Ten years later, he donated the work to the Greek people in honor of their contribution to the resistance against the Nazi occupation. On the back of the painting, a handwritten dedication by the Spanish artist reads: “Pour le peuple grec, hommage de Picasso” (For the Greek people, revered by Picasso).


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