ATHENS (AFP) – Police in Greece have recovered a Picasso painting stolen in 2012 from the National Gallery, and arrested a suspect in the theft, authorities said late Monday.
Head of a Woman, gifted by Pablo Picasso to Greece in 1949, was recovered in the rural area of Keratea, some 45 kilometres southeast of Athens, state agency ANA said.
Another painting stolen in the same heist, Piet Montrian’s Stammer Windmill, was also found, the agency said.
The Spanish master had given the cubist painting to the Greek state.
On the back, an inscription reads in French: “For the Greek people, a tribute by Picasso.”
Two men are believed to have broken into the National Gallery in January 2012, cutting the paintings from their frames.
The break-in lasted only around seven minutes.
A sketch by 16th Century Italian artist Guglielmo Caccia, better known as Moncalvo, had also been stolen in the same robbery.
A state report subsequently found that the National Gallery’s security had not been upgraded since 2000.
Several areas in the museum were out of range of security cameras, while the alarms were faulty and prone to ringing gratuitously.