PABLO Picasso’s 1906 masterpiece ‘Head of a Young Woman’ was seized in Corsica by French authorities in an attempt to export it illegally.
With an estimated worth of €26.2 million, the painting was deemed a Spanish cultural treasure and prohibited from leaving the country.
The owner of the painting, high-powered bank official with Santander and Bankinter Jaime Botin, had been unsuccessfully trying to export the painting since 2012.
The painting was discovered by customs authorities aboard the yacht Adix, property of a company partially owned by Botin, with his son Alfonso onboard.
The French authorities believe the painting was destined for Switzerland.
Botin’s lawyers are arguing that the painting was not the personal property of Botin, but rather of the Euroshipping Charter Company Ltd, and that as the yacht and the painting were under British domain and laws.
See the Olive Press’s coverage of Botin’s first attempt to smuggle the painting out of Spain: http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2015/05/07/spanish-banker-forbidden-from-taking-his-picasso-to-the-uk/