Greek police recovers Picasso, Mondrian artworks stolen in museum heist

Published on Jun 30, 2021 05:01 PM IST

Picasso's "Head of a Woman" and Mondrian's "Landscape with a Mill" were among three artworks grabbed in an early morning heist in 2012. At the time, officers said the intruders had interfered with the alarm system overnight, setting it off repeatedly until it was disabled by museum guards.

The paintings "Woman's Head" by Pablo Picasso and "Mill" by Piet Mondrian (not pictured), both stolen from Greece's National Gallery in 2012, are displayed during a presentation to members of the media at the Ministry of Citizen Protection in Athens, Greece on June 29. (REUTERS/Costas Baltas)
The paintings "Woman's Head" by Pablo Picasso and "Mill" by Piet Mondrian (not pictured), both stolen from Greece's National Gallery in 2012, are displayed during a presentation to members of the media at the Ministry of Citizen Protection in Athens, Greece on June 29. (REUTERS/Costas Baltas)
ANI |

Greek police on Monday (local time) recovered the missing artworks by Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian after almost a decade of daring museum heist.

Greek police arrested a suspect in connection with the theft. Both paintings were stolen from the National Art Gallery in Athens, a Greek police spokesperson confirmed, reported CNN.

Picasso's "Head of a Woman" and Mondrian's "Landscape with a Mill" were among three artworks grabbed in an early morning raid in 2012. At the time, officers said the intruders had interfered with the alarm system overnight, setting it off repeatedly until it was disabled by museum guards.

The raiders then broke into the gallery's temporary exhibition area via an aluminum-framed door on a balcony. A motion detector was activated during the heist, prompting a guard to give chase, though he was unable to catch the suspect in question, reported CNN.

Depicting a woman in a white blouse against a blue background, the recovered Picasso portrait, "Head of a Woman," had been donated to Greece after World War II in recognition of the country's resistance to Nazi occupation. The reverse is inscribed with a message from the Spanish artist reading: "For the Greek people, a tribute from Picasso."

The second painting, Mondrian's "Landscape with a Mill," is a lesser-known figurative work by an artist renowned for his abstract style. The third item taken in the heist - a pen-and-ink sketch by Renaissance artist Guglielmo Caccia, was not among the recovered items.

The theft took place on the final day of an exhibition entitled "Unknown Treasures," which had also featured prints and etchings by artists including Albrecht Duerer and Rembrandt van Rijn, reported CNN.

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