The Greek police have recovered two valuable paintings by Pete Mondrian and Pablo Picasso, stolen in 2012 from the National Gallery of Greece. A sketch by Italian artist Guglielmo Caccia was also stolen along with the other two paintings from Greece’s biggest public art museum.
“On Monday, police found both paintings hidden in a gorge near Athens and arrested a Greek citizen,” said the police. The agency said that in 2012, thieves broke into the National Gallery in Athens and stole Picasso’s painting “Woman’s Head,” which the artist donated to the museum in 1949, as well as Mondrian’s Mill, painted in 1905.
The thief or thieves had broken into the back of the gallery after forcing open a balcony door. The robbery occurred in just 7 minutes. The thief had dropped Mondrian’s Landscape during a chase by an alert guard. The theft occurred on the final day of an exhibition called Unknown Treasures, which included works by German artists Albrecht Duerer and Harmensz van Rijn.
“Woman’s Head”, a Cubist bust painted in 1939 on oil canvas, had been given by Picasso to the Greek state in 1949 in recognition of the country’s resistance to Nazi Germany, “Mill”, a 1905 oil painting of a windmill by Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian was also stolen, along with a sketch of St Diego de Alcala by 16th-century Italian artist Guglielmo Caccia, better known as Moncalvo.
In May, Picasso’s “Woman Sitting at the Window” was sold at Christie’s for $ 103.4 million.