The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, April 17, 2014


United States restrains 1909 Pablo Picasso painting valued at $11.5 million
The restraining order was obtained in response to an official request by the government of Italy.
WASHINGTON, DC.- The Department of Justice today restrained the 1909 Pablo Picasso painting "Compotier et tasse" – estimated to be worth $11.5 million – on behalf of the Italian government. This action follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The restraining order was obtained in response to an official request by the government of Italy, pursuant to the Treaty between the United States and the Italian Republic on Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters for assistance in connection with its ongoing criminal investigation and prosecution of Gabriella Amati. Amati and her late husband, Angelo Maj, were charged by the Italian Public Prosecutors’ Office in Milan with embezzlement and fraudulent bankruptcy offenses under Italian law, and Italian prosecutors have obtained a restraining order for the Picasso painting in connection with the criminal proceeding.

According to documents filed in the Italian criminal proceeding, Amati and Maj, in collaboration with a public official of the City of Naples, Italy, employed various schemes to misappropriate tax receipts collected for Naples by companies the couple controlled. In addition, the Italian prosecutors alleged that Amati and Maj orchestrated a number of schemes to embezzle Naples’ tax revenue including the use of fraudulent service contracts, forged accounting records, inflated operational expenses, and fraudulently claimed refunds to Naples taxpayers, all to justify transfers to the couple’s own bank accounts of the taxes that were collected for the city, resulting in a loss of approximately 33 million euros ($44 million) to Naples.

On May 21, HSI special agents in New York located and recovered the painting, which was being offered for private sale in the amount of $11.5 million.

An application to enforce the Italian restraining order was filed June 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking to restrain the Picasso painting belonging to Amati and Maj and located in New York City. U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska granted the U.S. government’s application and issued a restraining order prohibiting the removal, sale or disposition of the Picasso painting from the court’s jurisdiction. The United States is working in close cooperation with the Italian Public Prosecutors’ Office in Milan, the Justice Department’s Attaché in Rome and HSI Attaché Rome to forfeit the painting in an effort to repatriate the Picasso to Italy.

"Restraining this valuable artwork is an effort to help recover some of the estimated $44 million that this couple stole from the tax-paying citizens of Naples," said ICE Director John Morton. "We are very pleased that our investigation has led to the recovery of this painting that is so significant to the Italian people. This is an example of the fine work of our HSI cultural repatriation special agents. We will continue our efforts to return stolen antiquities to their rightful owners."

"Restraining this Picasso painting is yet another example of the Justice Department’s close partnership with law enforcement around the world," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman. "Our asset forfeiture section is committed to finding and securing every last penny of criminal proceeds and putting those ill-gotten proceeds back in the hands of victims, regardless of where they reside."

"We are pleased to have played a role in securing this valuable work of art by the celebrated artist, Pablo Picasso, on behalf of the Italian government," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara. "Our commitment to 'taking the profit out of crime’ transcends national boundaries and is the operating principle of our asset forfeiture program."

The U.S. enforcement of the Italian order is being handled by Assistant Deputy Chief Jack de Kluiver and Trial Attorney Jennifer Wallis of the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section and Asset Forfeiture Unit Chief Sharon Cohen Levin and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Magdo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, HSI New York, HSI Rome and the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs.

In Italy, the case is being handled by the Italian Public Prosecutor’s Office in Milan and investigated by the Guardia di Finanza police service.

HSI plays a leading role in criminal investigations that involve the illegal importation and distribution of cultural property, including the illicit trafficking of cultural property, especially objects that have been reported lost or stolen. The HSI Office of International Affairs, through its 75 attaché offices in 48 countries, works closely with foreign governments to conduct joint investigations, when possible.

HSI's specially trained investigators, assigned to both domestic and international offices, partner with governments, agencies and experts to protect cultural antiquities. They also provide cultural property investigative training to law enforcement partners for crimes involving stolen property and art, and how to best enforce the law to recover these items when they emerge in the marketplace.

Since 2007, more than 7,150 artifacts have been returned to 26 countries, including paintings from France, Germany, Poland and Austria, 15th to 18th century manuscripts from Italy and Peru, as well as cultural artifacts from China, Cambodia and Iraq.



Today's News

June 25, 2013

"Pablo Picasso: Family Album" brings together portraits from collections of artist's heirs

City of Nice opens 8 simultaneous exhibitions in homage to Henri Matisse and his work

United States restrains 1909 Pablo Picasso painting valued at $11.5 million

Christie's London to present the complete "Homage to Chillida" exhibition for sale

Gordon Matta-Clark, Suzanne Harris, Tina Girouard: The 112 Greene Street Years at Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Terra Foundation adds significant Jacob Lawrence painting to its American Art Collection

New series of photographic works by Chloe Sells on view at The Michael Hoppen Gallery

Philadelphia Museum of Art's sculpture Diana by Augustus Saint-Gaudens to be regilded

Global online bidding fuels Bonhams Fine Watches & Wristwatches Auction in New York

Animals, shapes, landscapes and spaceships: Ancient Asian art of origami gains following in West

ZKM exhibition uses the Internet as a production site for generating content for further media

Participating galleries at VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary 2013 announced

Premiere international Contemporary and Modern art fair Art Southampton returns to Hamptons

Rarest Chinese stamp to be auctioned by Interasia Auctions this weekend

Masterpieces of furniture and decorative arts to be offered at Sotheby's London

Recent paintings and works on paper by Anne Siems on view at Littlejohn Contemporary

Nationalmuseum announces new acquisition: Gertrud Fridh as Medea by Rolf Winquist

Mobile-friendly website makes one of the country's most significant collections of sculpture accessible

Extraordinary lot of 32 Monica Lewinsky personal items to be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions

The Gallery @1GAP at Richard Meier on Prospect Park presents "On the Margins of a Portrait"

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- 'World's oldest message in a bottle', tossed in sea 101 years ago, reaches granddaughter

2.- East-West/West-East: Qatar unveils desert sculpture by American artist Richard Serra

3.- Ming-era 'chicken cup' sells for $36.05 million breaking record for Chinese porcelain

4.- United States pastor Kevin Sutherland convicted over Damien Hirst fake paintings

5.- Major exhibition at Pinacothèque de Paris explores the myth of Cleopatra

6.- Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles opens with inaugural exhibition "Van Gogh Live!"

7.- Landmark exhibition opens in New York exploring the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia

8.- Palm-sized scroll that mentions Jesus's wife is ancient: Harvard Theological Review

9.- Hitler's wife Eva Braun may have had Jewish ancestry: British television documentary

10.- Bonhams to sell Madame de Pompadour's favourite porcelain which surfaced in Devon after 350 years



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site