Dutch art detective tracks down lost Picasso
Dutch art detective Arthur Brand tracked down a lost painting by Pablo Picasso titled Buste De Femme, painted in 1938. The painting of Picasso's mistress Dora Maar was stolen from the yacht of a Saudi sheikh in France in 1999 and has been missing ever since. The stolen painting, valued at 4 million euros at the time of its theft, has now been transferred to an insurance company, the Volkskrant reports.
Brand told the newspaper that he traced the painting through "people with contacts in the underworld". He heard in 2015 that the painting was supposedly somewhere in the Netherlands. It had been circulating in the Dutch underworld since 2002, where it was used as collateral in drug and weapon deals, Brand said.
According to Brand, the painting was said to be in the hands of a businessman who wanted to get rid of it after realizing it was stolen. "Once people know that something had been stolen, they want to get rid of it. They don't dare go to the police, they are afraid of being arrested for theft or possession of stolen property, while they had nothing to do with it. And then they come to me", he said to the Volkskrant.
The investigation into the theft of Buste De Femme had already been stopped and the case has since become time-barred. An American expert now established the authenticity of the painting, according to the newspaper. The national police team for art crime has also been informed that the painting has been found. According to Brand, its value is currently estimated at 25 million euros.