Stolen Picasso Painting Recovered as It Was Being Smuggled into the U.S.

Known as “La Coiffeuse,” or “The Hairdresser,” the Picasso oil painting that was heisted from a storeroom in Paris over ten years ago was discovered in New York. The abstract oil-on-canvas work of art was created over 100-years ago by Pablo Picasso and was among one of the first Cubist painting made.

Paul Mathieson (Examiner.com) has read that the painting was part of a collection at the Musee National de’Art Moderne in Paris. It was then loaned to the Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiflung to be publicly displayed in Munich, Germany, where it was last exhibited. Once returned to Paris, the valuable piece of art was kept at the Centre George Pompidou in a storeroom. It wasn’t until a loan request for the artwork was made in 2001 that officials realized it was gone.

The stolen painting was discovered last December as it was being smuggled into the United States from Belgium. Worth millions of dollars, the 1911 artwork was labeled as an ordinary, homemade present and valued by the shipper smuggling it at only 30 euros, or 37 U.S. dollars. United States Customs seized the painting and subsequently turned it over to Homeland Security Investigations. An attorney in New York’s eastern district, Loretta Lynch, commented that “A lost treasure has been found.” Pleased that the artwork had been confiscated from the black market, Lynch intends to return the painting to its rightful owner.