icon_arrow_down icon_arrow_left icon_arrow_left_large icon_arrow_right icon_arrow_right_large icon_arrow_up icon_bullet_arrow icon_call icon_close icon_facebook icon_googleplus icon_grid_off icon_instagram icon_login icon_mail icon_menu icon_message icon_minus icon_pinterest icon_plus icon_quote_end icon_quote_start icon_refresh icon_search icon_tick_on icon_twitter icon_video_play icon_youtube

Sign up to our mailing list for the latest Boat International & Events news.


Missing your newsletter?

If you’ve unsubscribed by mistake and would like to continue to hear about the latest Boat International & Events news, update your preferences now and let us know which emails you’d like to receive.

No, thanks
Picasso painting seized from superyacht in Corsica has been returned to Spain

Picasso painting seized from superyacht in Corsica has been returned to Spain

A Pablo Picasso painting, which was seized from a superyacht by French customs in Corsica, has now been transferred to a museum in Madrid, Spain.

The painting is considered to be a Spanish “national treasure” and is banned from leaving Spain. French customs officials confirmed that on July 31 The Head of a Young Woman painting was taken from a superyacht moored off Calvi following “an attempt to export to Switzerland”.

A team of Spanish police – accompanied by an art restorer and expert in packaging fine art – have now retrieved the painting from Corsica and brought it to the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. The museum also houses the famous Picasso painting Guernica.

A museum spokesperson has said, “The painting will be stored in a warehouse of the museum until we know more about its destiny.”

Spanish banker Jaime Botín, 79, owns the painting, which is thought to be worth more than €25 million. He bought the Picasso painting in 1977.

While the name of the superyacht on which the seizure took place hasn’t been named, it’s thought to be the 65 metre sailing yacht Adix, which was in Calvi at the time.

There has been a three-year battle between Botín and the Spanish authorities as to whether the artwork, which was painted in 1906, can be taken out of Spain.

A request in 2012, via Christie’s Iberia, to move the artwork from Spain to London was turned down by Spanish culture ministry because there is “no other similar work on Spanish soil”.

Botín tried to appeal this decision claiming that as the painting was kept on board Adix, which is a British-flagged yacht moored in Valencia, that it was not technically in Spain. Botín’s lawyers also argued that the work belonged to a company registered outside of Spain, Euroshipping Charter Company LTD.

Judges turned down the appeal arguing that as per the 1982 Montego Bay Convention “the existence of a ship in a Spanish port, except in the case of military vessels, is subject to Spanish law”.

Upgrade your account
Your account at BOAT International doesn't include a BOAT Pro subscription. Please subscribe to BOAT Pro in order to unlock this content.
Subscribe More about BOAT Pro