Entertainment & Arts

Police recover 'missing' Picasso

Pablo Picasso pictured in 1955 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The painting came from Picasso's cubist period

Italian police have recovered a Picasso painting, which was presumed missing for 36 years.

The 1912 painting, Violin and Bottle of Bass, is valued at $16.2m (£10.9m). It was discovered when a man from Rome attempted to export it for auction.

He said he had been given the painting in 1978 by an elderly client as a gift, and was unaware it was by the Spanish master.

Police said he had packed it away for 36 years "without particular care".

The pensioner, a former frame-maker who has not been named, said he had received the Picasso in 1978 by a customer who had recently lost his wife.

The widower had come into his shop in a state of distress after breaking a photo frame in which he kept a picture of his lamented late wife.

The frame-maker replaced the glass for free. Two days later, the elderly customer returned to the workshop and presented him with the Picasso, without giving any indication of its value or artistic significance.

Investigators have confirmed the painting is authentic and they are now trying to verify whether the retired framer is the rightful owner.

The oil painting depicts an image of a violin and a bottle of Bass beer.

The bottles, which carried a distinctive red triangle on their label, feature in more than 40 Picasso paintings, mostly from his Cubist period.

Bass was once the most widely drunk in the world - and it also puts in an appearance in Manet's 1882 painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergere.

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