“ The Dressing ” a Cubist painting by Picasso in 1911 and estimated at $ 15 million, was awarded Thursday to the French authorities after being stolen 17 years ago and rediscovered in a harmless parcels to the United States.
The table of 46 cm by 33 cm crossed the Atlantic to the holiday season in 2014, cleverly concealed in a package marked “ Art Craft / 30 E / Merry Christmas . “
But the lure, suggesting that it was a Christmas gift of little value, is not fooled US Customs and Immigration Service (ICE). Their investigative division on international trafficking in works of art has identified the painting stolen in 1998 and whose disappearance had been discovered in 2001.
The package was posted in Belgium December 17 but his disappearance recognized by the staff of the Centre Pompidou in Paris during a loan, remains unexplained. The vicissitudes of his 17 years of “ lam ” are not known.
The ICE has retained Picasso “ in a conditioned space “and has returned to the Embassy of France in Washington Thursday at 1800 GMT. The canvas, which is owned by the French government, will then be repatriated to the Paris modern art museum.
“ Worsened by theft, poor storage conditions it has suffered and the incredible vicissitudes of his expedition across the Atlantic “canvas” must be the subject of careful restoration campaign, before being reintroduced to the public ” Lasvignes warned Serge, president of the museum.
He said he was “ glad that this wonderful work of Pablo Picasso soon finds the path ” the Pompidou Centre which brings together some 115 000 rooms, the largest European collection of modern art.
“ The Dressing ” recognizable by its shades of gray and beige, was publicly seen for the last time in Munich when she was exposed as part of a loan, the Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung.
This oil on canvas date of the Cubist period of the Spanish painter in the early twentieth century , during which he has directed “The Demoiselles d’Avignon “, a wide array founder of this artistic movement.
“ The Dressing “is a characteristic example of the analytical cubism implemented by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in 1910, according to the Centre Pompidou.
This phase of Cubism is based on a breakdown of volumes facets and is centered on a conceptual analysis and geometric shape. The color homogenizes an entire composition.
The table entered the museum collections in 1967 through a bequest by Georges Salles, one of the great French collectors of Cubism after such belonged to the famous art dealer Ambroise Vollard.
The Centre Pompidou has warned that the press will be invited in the coming weeks for a presentation of the table on his return to Paris, where he was painted there more than a century.
On his death in 1973, Pablo Picasso left a colossal work of paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, ceramics and tapestries.