Stolen in Tel Aviv, Picasso and Chagall works worth $900,000 found in Antwerp home

The paintings, Picasso’s ‘Tête’ and Chagall’s ‘L’homme en prière,’ were purloined from a collector in 2010, along with $680,000 worth of jewelry

Two stolen paintings, Picasso's 'Tête' (right) and Chagall's 'L’homme en prière' (left) found in Antwerp are seen in this undated handout image. (Handout / Police judiciaire fédérale Namur)
Two stolen paintings, Picasso's 'Tête' (right) and Chagall's 'L’homme en prière' (left) found in Antwerp are seen in this undated handout image. (Handout / Police judiciaire fédérale Namur)

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Belgian police have found stolen Picasso and Chagall paintings in a basement in the city of Antwerp, local authorities said on Tuesday, adding that the artworks are still in good condition.

The paintings, Picasso’s “Tête” and Chagall’s “L’homme en prière,” were stolen from an art collector in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2010 and are worth $900,000.

At the time of the theft, $680,000 worth of jewelry was stolen as well but only the paintings have been found.

Local police had started an investigation when a source informed them that a Belgian national was offering both artworks for sale.

The local prosecutor said the main suspect has been arrested.

The investigation had been underway for several months, according to federal police, cited by French-language Belgian daily Le Soir.

“The checks and police resources implemented during 2023 made it possible to establish that the suspect was indeed in possession of the works sought and that he could have them at his home or at the home of one of his relations,” the agency told the publication.

Initially, “although confessing to possessing the paintings, the suspect refused to communicate where he had stored them,” the police said.

The investigation led police to a home in Antwerp where the paintings were found in a cellar in excellent conditions, according to the statement.

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