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Graphic shows where the paintings were stolen from and then recovered some years later.


Stolen Picasso and Mondrian paintings recovered outside Athens

By Ninian Carter

June 29, 2021 - Greek police have recovered two valuable paintings by Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian, both stolen from Greece’s National Gallery in 2012.

Works of art by 20th century masters Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian, which were both stolen from Greece's National Gallery in 2012, have been recovered from a ravine, 30km southeast of Athens.

At 02:30 GMT on Monday, January 9, 2012, two thieves broke into the National Gallery in the centre of Athens and stripped four artworks from their frames — including Picasso's 1939 cubist painting “Woman's Head” (donated to the gallery by the artist himself in 1949) and Mondrian’s “Mill” dating back to 1905.

To pull off the daring heist, thieves tripped the gallery's alarm system several times so the night watchman would be mislead into believing a further alarm was false, when in fact the thieves were then busy robbing the gallery.

As they escaped, they dropped one Mondrian painting but made off with the others – the whereabouts of the third, a sketch by Italian painter Guglielmo Caccia, is unknown.

Following the arrest of a 49-year-old man, Greek police recovered the two incalculably valuable paintings wrapped in garbage bags in a ravine in Keratea, about 30km southeast of the capital.

PUBLISHED: 29/06/2021; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Associated Press