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article imageStolen 1911 Picasso seized in NY by Homeland Security

By Nancy Houser     Feb 28, 2015 in Entertainment
Stolen some 10 years ago, Picasso's $2.5M century-old cubist painting, "La Coiffeuse," has been seized by the U.S. Homeland Security. It was found in a New York mail room wearing a $37 Fed Ex shipping label.
Anthony Scandiffio, the deputy special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, said in a statement, “The market to sell stolen antiquities in the United States is drying up."
Picasso's "La Coiffeuse" was found in New York after being stolen from a Paris storeroom 10 years ago. The valuable painting was smuggled from Belgium into the United States last December, wearing a Fed Ex shipping label that placed its value at 30 euros, or $37.
Intercepted by US Customs and Border Protection agents, the painting was seized by the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and will legally be returned to France. The person responsible for the crime has not yet been found. It is known that a person by the name of "Robert" had shipped the painting on December 17, 2014, from an address in Belgium to a climate-controlled warehouse in Long Island City.
“La Coiffeuse” is an oil-on-canvas which measures 13 by 18 inches. It is part of France's Musee National d'Art Moderne collection in Paris. Before being stolen, it was last exhibited publicly in Munich, Germany, where it was on loan to the Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung. It was then returned to Paris and placed in the storerooms of the Centre George Pompidou. Officials only realized it was missing when a loan request came through in 2001 and they could not find it.
The US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Loretta Lynch, filed a civil forfeiture suit on Thursday, February 26, to return the painting to France as the painting is legally owned by the French government.
"A lost treasure has been found," said Loretta Lynch, attorney for the eastern district of New York. "Because of the blatant smuggling in this case, this painting is now subject to forfeiture to the United States. Forfeiture of the painting will extract it from the grasp of the black market in stolen art so that it can be returned to its rightful owner," added Lynch, who is also the US Attorney General nominee.
More about Picasso, cusist painting, Homeland Security, stolen picasso painting
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