Police: Iraqi forces recover stolen Picasso

August 26, 2009 2:37:29 PM PDT
Special forces have recovered a stolen Picasso and arrested a man planning to sell the painting during a raid of his house in southern Iraq, Iraqi police said Wednesday. The painting, "The Naked Woman," apparently had been among the artwork looted from Kuwait during Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion, said police spokesman Maj. Muthana Khalid.

It was seized Tuesday during a raid on the house belonging to the suspect near the mainly Shiite city of Hillah, about 60 miles (95 kilometers) south of Baghdad.

Khalid said the man was trying to sell the painting for $450,000, but some Iraqi experts who saw the painting said it was worth $10 million.

The painting, which was signed by Pablo Picasso and bore inscriptions from "The Museum of Kuwait" was being held as evidence while the suspected was interrogated, Khalid said. It appeared to have been folded several times in a picture of the painting that was released.

Goods and artwork from the neighboring country's wealthy homes and its national museum were hauled back to Iraq after the invasion, which led to the 1991 Gulf War.

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