French customs officials seized a Pablo Picasso painting hanging in the 65m S/Y Adix in the Corsican port of Calvi in late July.
Although the yacht is British flagged, its owner is the 79-year-old Spanish banking billionaire Jaime Botin. When he requested the painting be transferred to London for auction in 2012, he was denied. He appealed and in May 2015, a Spanish court confirmed that the painting was a national treasure that “could under no circumstances be taken out of Spain”, according to a story in The Telegraph.
Picasso painted Head of a Young Woman in 1906 and it is estimated to be worth more than $25 million. He was from the southern Spanish city of Malaga.
French authorities were tipped off that the painting was about to be flown by private jet to London, so they boarded the yacht and seized it, they said in a statement. The painting was then taken to Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum where it will remain until its legal status is resolved.
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