US$27M Picasso Painting Purportedly Smuggled By Head Of Spain’s Richest Bank
By Thanussha Priyah, 06 Nov 2019
Image via aijaphoto / Shutterstock.com
Jamie Botín, head of Spain’s wealthiest banking company Grupo Santander, has been accused of smuggling a Pablo Picasso painting worth US$27.4 million out of the country.
The artwork entitled Head of a Young Woman is classified as a cultural treasure by the Spanish government. Botín allegedly attempted to sell the painting outside of the country, resulting in possible jail time and an enormous fine.
El País reports that the Picasso painting was retrieved in 2015 from Botín’s yacht in the French island of Corsica while traveling to Switzerland.
The businessman and billionaire heir claimed that he was not attempting to export the painting. Instead, he argued that the piece was “in transit” to Geneva, and was meant to be safely stored at the Freeport Warehouse complex.
During the trial in Madrid on Monday, Botín stuck by his claims that he never had the intention of selling the painting.
If found guilty, the businessman might end up facing a four-year prison sentence and a €100 million ($111 million) fine.
He requested to put the painting up on public display at the Fundacion Botín in Santander and forsake any future attempts to ship the painting in exchange for a lighter sentence. However, his request did not appeal to the prosecutors.
Prosecutors believe that Botín had solicited the painting to go under the hammer at Christie’s in 2012 but the attempt failed after Spain’s Board of Qualification, Valuation and Export of Spanish Historical Heritage Assets labeled the piece as a rare work done by Picasso after his Rose Period. This led to the piece being classified as non-exportable.
Spanish Businessman Accused of Smuggling Picasso Painting Could Face $111 M. Fine: Jaime Botín has claimed that he didn't intend on selling a $27.4 million Picasso canvas outside Spain. Read More The post Spanish Businessman Accused of Smuggling Picasso… https://t.co/a39HmHOjNA pic.twitter.com/BbSgOvOJeg— Kita Mostert (@kita_mostert) November 6, 2019
[via Artnews, images via aijaphoto / Shutterstock.com]
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