Saturday, May 14, 2022

Missing Picasso painting found in Imelda Marcos’ home in the Philippines

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The surrealist painting Reclining Woman VI, which shows a naked woman lying on a couch, was on display in footage that aired on Tuesday from local TV Patrol as Imelda Marcos celebrated her son Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s victory in the presidential election.

May 13 (News) – A Pablo Picasso painting bought by the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and his wife Imelda, or a copy of it, has been spotted in their home eight years after it was selected for confiscation by the country’s government.

The painting, described by The Art Newspaper as “priceless,” is one of more than 200 purchased by the Marcos family, with up to $10 billion from the government during the late patriarch’s two decades of leadership were stolen.

Marcos Sr. was ousted from power in 1986 and the family lived in exile in Hawaii before later returning to the country.

His son won a landslide presidential election on Monday over current Vice President Leni Robredo to succeed Rodrigo Duterte after his constitutionally mandated single term.

After Marcos Sr.’s administration, the country created the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to recover the stolen money and the lavish goods purchased with it, although the New York Times reported that many of the works are suspected of being fake .

The painting was believed to have been confiscated in 2014 and placed in the care of the National Museum, the institution’s director general, Jeremy Barns, told Rappler.

However, he did admit that the receipt lists the track as “Picasso Replica Bass Strokes” and not “Pablo Picasso Reclining Women VI.”

Former PCGG Chairman Andy Bautista tweeted this week that the Reclining Woman VI was also featured in a 2019 documentary about the Marcos family called The Kingmaker.

According to The Art Newspaper, the painting’s appearance in the documentary had prompted officials to search for the painting again.

Ruben Carranza, a former PCGG commissioner, told The Guardian it was unclear whether the Reclining Woman VI on view this week was the real Picasso painting.

But Bautista told Rappler he was confident the one the government seized was a fake.

“Mrs. Marcos had a habit of buying fake paintings and lending fake paintings to the exhibition,” Carranza said.

“The fact that she’s showing it now not only shows the duplicity of Mrs. Marcos … it shows this really, absolutely indifferent attitude towards Filipinos.”

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