Stolen Picasso painting returns to Paris!
A Picasso painting stolen nearly fourteen years ago was finally returned to its rightful home on Thursday in Paris's Pompidou Centre.
The U.S Ambassador to France and the French Culture Minister, amongst others, attended the ceremony to see the tale of the theft of a great masterpiece finally get a happy ending.
The painting, declared stolen in 2001, was finally intercepted by American customs officials in December 2014 at New York's Newark airport after being sent from Belgium.
Many declared it a day of celebration for the Museum and of the efficient partnership of both French and American authorities, with the French Minister of Culture expressing her joy in her speech.
"For me, as the Minister of Culture, it is a real joy to recover here a national treasure of such significance, as a stolen work of art it is not just a lost possession, it is a a piece of memory, of history, of a country's soul and spirit which is stolen as well as secret," she said.
It was officially declared missing when personnel at the Centre Pompidou responded to a loan request from abroad, the theft remains unexplained and an inquiring is still ongoing.
The painting, of 33cm by 46cm, is regarded by many, including Pablo Picasso's grandson, Olivier Picasso as one of the prime examples of the Cubist movement.
"The value of a painting, it is most of all, that a work of my grandfather, could be stolen, hidden, that it is far away from the public, a painting exists only in the eyes of those who look at it and to imagine that a painting of such importance, because of it is from the Cubist period, it is period which is the essence of modern art of the 19th century," he said.
The President of the Pompidou Centre, Serge Lasvignes, explained that the painting will now undergo extensive restoration after its tumultuous journey in a bid to restore it to its previous glory.
"The painting will undergo restoration which will allow the canvas to be rehung which has become distended, and to repair the traces of shock which have occurred as well as other traces, and most importantly to give it back the light, the luminosity, the rays of light which it had originally," he said.
The President of the Pompidou Centre, Serge Lasvignes, also accentuated the importance of the event in the painting's history, an opportunity now arises to 'rediscover' it in all senses of the word.
"I personally would like for the public, for a certain amount of time, to see it as really as 'the work that has been refound', with all of its story, all of its vagaries of life, it could be a Christmas story, the disappearance of the work which for once has a good ending," he said.
After three months of restoration in a secret location in Paris, the painting will then be rehung in the Paris museum by the end of the year.