Dutch art detective retrieves stolen Picasso after 20 years

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A Dutch “art detective” from Amsterdam called Arthur Brand has managed to lay his hands on Buste de Femme (Dora Maar), a painting that had been lost since 1999, The Guardian reported yesterday.

On 14 March 2019, two men “with contacts in the underworld” handed Brand the stolen Picasso in his apartment in the east of Amsterdam. According to Brand, stolen art can often be a hot potato. It is difficult to sell and in the meantime the thief or fence is stuck with a stolen item that, if found in their possession, can lead to awkward questions from the authorities.

Having gotten wind of the Picasso, Brand let it be known that he was interested in the painting, worth an estimated 25 million euro.

Brand, whose motto is “if they start to threaten you, you know you are on the right trail”, recovered a pair of bronze horses by Josef Thorak in 2015. The year after he negotiated the return of five stolen painting held by a Ukranian militia.

A day after receiving the painting, he handed it over to representatives of the insurance company.

Pablo Picasso painted the work in 1938.

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso)

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