raid yields stolen Picasso – police


Iraqi regulation enforcement claimed {that a} portray price untold hundreds of thousands of {dollars} turned up in a narcotics bust

Iraqi police obtained greater than they bargained for in a drug raid over the weekend in Diyala province, recovering what they declare is a stolen portray produced by the legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.

The paintings was seized on Saturday after being discovered within the possession of three individuals focused in a narcotics raid, the state-run Iraqi Information Company reported, citing a press release by the nation’s Inside Ministry. Authorities provided no further particulars on the portray, besides to say that it’s price “hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.”

“The drug commerce is linked to many crimes, together with homicide, theft, kidnapping, rape, gang formation, corruption and household disintegration, till it reaches the antiquities commerce,” mentioned Colonel Bilal Sobhi, director of the ministry’s anti-narcotics media workplace.

The Iraqi authorities has widened its crackdown on drug trafficking since final month, arresting 1,300 suspects and seizing 44 kilograms of narcotics. Sobhi mentioned the ministry additionally has captured 37 kilograms of stimulants, together with “crystal.” He credited intelligence gathered from Iraqi residents for enjoying a big function in breaking apart drug gangs, such because the group caught with the stolen portray.

Picasso’s works are among the many world’s most dear work. One in all his work offered for $179.4 million, then a file value, in Might 2015, reportedly to Qatar’s royal Al Thani household. No less than 4 others have fetched greater than $100 million. The artist died in 1973, after a prolific profession spanning eight a long time.

Iraqi police reportedly claimed to have seized one other Picasso portray in 2009, saying that they had arrested a person who was attempting to promote the piece for $450,000. The portray, entitled ‘The Bare Lady’, was allegedly stolen from the Nationwide Museum of Kuwait throughout Iraq’s invasion of the neighboring state in 1990. Officers on the Louvre in Paris and the Nationwide Museum of Kuwait later claimed that the portray was a pretend.

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