Greece has recovered artistic endeavors by Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian, stolen from its Nationwide Gallery in 2012, authorities stated on Tuesday.
Thieves broke into the gallery and snatched Picasso’s 1939 portray “Girl’s Head”, donated by the Spanish artist in 1949, and Dutch painter Mondrian’s “Mill” dated 1905.
To mislead the guard, the thieves had activated the gallery’s alarm system a number of instances earlier than breaking into the constructing early within the morning. The guard turned off the alarm solely to identify one of many thieves via the movement detector.
On Monday, authorities arrested a 49-year-old Greek man who confessed that he had stolen the paintings and led police to a forest exterior Athens the place he had hidden them, the Residents’ Safety Ministry stated on Tuesday.
Footage handed out by police from the location confirmed one of many work sealed in a bundle beneath bushes.
The arrested man stated a sketch by Italian painter Guglielmo Caccia, donated to the gallery in 1907 and likewise stolen in 2012, had been destroyed, the ministry stated.
The work will likely be exhibited as soon as once more within the Nationwide Gallery, which opened in March after 9 years of renovation work, as a part of celebrations marking the 2 hundredth anniversary of the Greek Battle of Independence in Athens.
“In our new gallery, they’ll discover the place they deserve,” Residents’ Safety Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis advised a joint information convention with Tradition Minister Lina Mendoni.
“Picasso devoted the portray to the Greek individuals,” he stated. “There was a Greek man who took it away. There have been Greeks who introduced it again.
“Mendoni stated the Picasso portray bore an inscription from the painter to the Greek individuals for his or her battle towards fascism.”That’s the reason why it was unattainable for the portray not solely to be offered but in addition to be exhibited wherever,” she stated.