Ex-banker jailed for trying to smuggle Picasso painting out of Spain

Written by Corby Radio News on 16th January 2020

A bank boss who was found with a Picasso painting on his boat has been jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of trying to smuggle the artwork out of Spain.

The painting, Head of a Young Woman, is worth €24m (£20.5m) and was deemed a national artistic treasure by Spain, meaning it was banned from leaving the country.

Spanish police experts flew out to the French island of Corsica in 2015 to retrieve the artwork from owner Jaime Botin, who was the head of Bankinter at the time.

Botin’s boat was seized when the captain was not able to produce the right documentation, before being raided by authorities who found the painting on board.

As well as an 18-month jail term, Botin was handed a €52.4m (£44.75m) fine. The painting’s ownership has been handed back to the Spanish state.

The 1906 oil painting, which is a portrait of a woman with long black hair, is deemed as one of Pablo Picasso’s masterpieces and comes from his so-called "pink period",

Botin’s sentence can be appealed.

© Sky News 2020

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