Police in Serbia have recovered two paintings by Pablo Picasso stolen in 2008 from a gallery in Switzerland, Belgrade's interior minister said on Wednesday.
The two oil-paintings “Tete de Cheval” from 1962 and “Verre et Pichet” from 1944, valued at 3.1 million euros ($4.3 million), were discovered in a joint operation by Serbian and Swiss police, official Milorad Veljovic told the Beta news agency.
The two paintings, one showing a horse’s head in blues, greys and whites and the other a still life of a glass and pitcher in red and green, belong to the Sprengel museum in Hanover, Germany, but were stolen from the cultural center in Pfaeffikon, near Zurich, while on loan in 2008.
The Serbian authorities said an investigation into how the paintings came to be in Serbia and how they were hidden had been launched.
“The paintings were found in close cooperation with police from Switzerland,” Serbian media quoted Dacic as saying.
The Interior Ministry said no arrests were made and declined to specify where the paintings were found.
“We are now trying to ascertain who brought the paintings into Serbia, when and how, and where they were hidden,” Serbian police director Milorad Veljovic told Reuters.