407 Picassos stolen, says stepdaughter

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2013, 10:48 AM IST

Paris: Pablo Picasso`s stepdaughter said 407 works by the late Spanish artist were stolen from her chateau in southern France.

Catherine Hutin-Blay, 65, told Le Parisien newspaper she noticed the works were gone in 2011, when the Picasso Administration - manager of the Spaniard`s estate - alerted her that several Picassos were on sale at a private gallery in Paris.

Hutin-Blay recognized the titles as among the works she inherited from her mother, Jacqueline, who was Picasso`s second wife, and soon confirmed that the pieces were indeed missing from the chateau in Vauvenargues.

The robberies apparently took place between 2005 and 2007, Hutin-Blay told the newspaper.

Le Parisien said artworks were also taken from the home of Hutin-Blay`s neighbor, Sylvie Baltazart-Eon, the 58-year-old daughter of Picasso`s art dealer, Aime Maeght.

Freddy Munchenbach, who performed unspecified work for both women, is suspected of making off with more than 600 works belonging to Baltazart-Eon and Hutin-Blay, according to the newspaper.

Besides the Picassos, the haul included pieces by Kandinsky, Joan Miro, Antoni Tapies, Giacometti and Eduardo Chillida.

The works stolen are worth as much as 2 million euros ($2.6 million).

Hutin-Blay said she has recovered 22 of the looted works.