The Case of The Electrician and Pablo Picasso
The pieces date from 1900 to 1932, a broad spectrum of canvases, drawings, lithographs and other pieces from the artist's earliest and most fertile period including drawings of Picasso's first wife, Olga, a watercolor from Picasso's "blue" period and Cubist collages. All told the works could be worth more than $100 million.
But were they really a gift? Picasso, who died in 1973, was famous for keeping detailed records of his his finances and his art. After Le Guennec went to the Paris office of the Picasso estate to meet Claude Picasso and verify the authenticity of the works, police raided his home and seized the works. The paintings are now in the custody of the Central Office for the Fight Against Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Property (OCBC). Claude Picasso and five other heirs have filed a lawsuit against Le Guennec saying that the works are stolen.
Christopher Marinello, executive director and general counsel for the Art Loss Register, which maintains database of lost and stolen works of art, told ABC News that the volume of work seems a bit large to be a gift, saying that it does seem "a little suspicious coming from someone who installed burglar alarms in a couple of Picasso properties."