U.S. stops sale of Picasso painting valued at $11.5M

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

U.S. RESTRAINS 1909 PABLO PICASSO PAINTING VALUED AT $11.5 MILLION

(CNN) — The United States obtained a restraining order Monday to block the sale of a painting by Pablo Picasso valued at an estimated $11.5 million at the request of the Italian government, the Justice Department announced.

The case involves a 1909 work by Picasso known as “Compotier et tasse” which had been offered for private sale in New York.

American officials obtained a restraining order blocking any sale and preventing the painting from being moved after Italian authorities asked for help in connection to the prosecution of Gabriella Amati. She and her late husband, Angelo Maj, were charged by Italian prosecutors with embezzlement and fraud.

The couple allegedly worked with an official for the city of Naples and embezzled approximately $44 million of the city’s tax revenues, according to Italian court documents.

The Picasso was not stolen but was purchased with money that Amati and her husband allegedly obtained through criminal activity, said a U.S. law enforcement official.

Agents working for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement located and recovered the painting in New York, where it was being offered for sale, on May 21.

“Restraining this valuable artwork is an effort to help recover some of the estimated $44 million that this couple stole from the tax-paying citizens of Naples,” ICE Director John Morton said in a written statement.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s