Customs Officials On The French Island Of Corsica Have Seized A $27.4 Million (£17.1 Million) Pablo Picasso Masterpiece Which Had Been Forbidden From Leaving The Artist's Native Spain.
French authorities reveal they received a tip about an attempt to smuggle the painter's Head of a Young Woman piece to Switzerland by boat, and they caught a captain in possession of the 1906 artwork last week (ends31Jul15).
He was unable to produce a certificate for the painting and it was subsequently removed by customs agents.
An export request for the artwork, which belongs to Spanish banking tycoon Jaime Botin, had been filed in late 2012, seeking permission to move the painting to London, but the motion was denied by Spain's culture minister, and in May (15), Spanish court officials ruled the Head of a Young Woman is of "cultural interest" and cannot be taken out of the country.
The court documents were found during a search of the vessel - which is registered to a British company of which Botin is a shareholder, according to the BBC.
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