"Picasso" found under tree in Romania appears to be hoax

By The Canadian Press
November 19, 2018 - 4:45am

BUCHAREST, Romania — A Romanian novelist who thought she had found a painting by Pablo Picasso stolen from a museum in the Netherlands six years ago seems to have been the victim of a prank.

Mira Feticu said she found the picture — supposedly Picasso's Tete d'Arlequin — under a tree based on an anonymous tip and handed it to the Dutch embassy.

Frank Westerman, a Dutch journalist who accompanied Feticu to Romania, wrote on Facebook that the pair had been hoodwinked. "The supposed lost Picasso was put there by two Belgian theatre makers."

Romania's Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism said Sunday it was examining the circumstances. On Monday, it declined to comment further.

Four Romanians were convicted in the 2012 heist of the painting and six others from the Kunsthal gallery in Rotterdam.

The Associated Press

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