Missing Picasso painting spotted in the Philippines, the home of Imelda Marcos
May 13 (UPI) — A painting by Pablo Picasso bought by late Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and his wife Imelda, or a copy of it, was spotted in her home eight years after it was selected for seizure by the country’s government.
The surreal painting Reclining Woman VI, which depicts a naked woman lying on a sofa, was seen in footage released on Tuesday from local channel TV Patrol as Imelda Marcos celebrated the victory of her son Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the presidential election.
The painting, described as ‘priceless’ by The Art Newspaper, is one of more than 200 bought by the Marcos family with up to $10 billion stolen from the government during the late patriarch’s two decades at the helm of the country .
Marcos Sr. was ousted from power in 1986 and the family lived in exile in Hawaii before later returning to the country.
Her son won a landslide presidential election on Monday over current Vice President Leni Robredo to succeed Rodrigo Duterte after his constitutional single term.
After the government of Marcos Sr., the country created the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to recover stolen money and lavish goods bought with it, although the New York Times reported that many works are suspected of be false. .
The painting was reportedly seized in 2014 and placed in the custody of the National Museum, the institution’s chief executive, Jeremy Barns, told the Rappler news site.
However, he admitted that the acknowledgment lists his title as “Picasso Replica Bass Strokes” and not “Pablo Picasso Reclining Women VI”.
Andy Bautista, former president of the PCGG tweeted this week that the Reclining Woman VI was also seen in a 2019 documentary about the Marcos family called “The Kingmaker”.
According to The Art Newspaper, the painting’s appearance in the documentary once again prompted officials to search for the painting.
Ruben Carranza, a former PCGG commissioner, told The Guardian it was unclear whether Reclining Woman VI seen this week was the real Picasso painting.
But Bautista told Rappler he was convinced the one the government had seized was a fake.
“Ms. Marcos has a habit of buying fake paintings, as well as lending fake paintings to display,” Carranza said.
“Having her flaunting it now doesn’t just show the duplicity of Ms. Marcos…it shows this really, absolutely indifferent attitude to Filipinos.”