Stolen works by Chagall and Picasso recovered in Antwerp after theft in Tel Aviv
Police recovered two stolen works of art by Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso in Antwerp last week, it was announced on Tuesday.
Officers in Namur had identified a person trying to sell Chagall's L'homme en prière and Picasso's Head. The works were part of a major theft from an art collector in Tel Aviv, Israel, in February 2010, along with jewellery worth an estimated 680,000 dollars. At the time of the theft, the combined value of the two paintings was 900,000 dollars.
The police conducted a thorough investigation of the suspect over several months. In 2023, their investigations confirmed that the suspect had the art and was likely storing them at his homeor with an associate.
Last Wednesday, at the public prosecutor's request, police in Namur conducted two searches at the suspect's home. Although a considerable amount of money was found, the paintings were not. The suspect admitted to possessing the art but refused to reveal their whereabouts.
The investigation eventually led officers to Antwerp, where another search revealed the two paintings in a basement, properly stored and undamaged, still in their original frames. The main suspect was charged with receiving stolen paintings and was arrested.
© BELGA PHOTO YORICK JANSENS