France returns stolen art to Czech Republic
France returned 15 paintings to the Czech Republic that were seized last year from the car of suspected art traffickers en route to Paris
METZ, France, February 22, 2008 - France on Thursday returned 15 paintings
to the Czech Republic that were seized last year from the car of suspected art
traffickers en route to Paris to meet a dealer, a prosecutor said.
The works by Czech surrealist Jiri Styrsky, abstract painter Frantisek
Kupka and others were discovered in February last year during a car search at
the Franco-German border post in Sarrebruck, said prosecutor Michel Beaulier.
The occupants of the car, a couple, were en route to Paris to meet with an
art dealer, according to Beaulier.
But expert analyses of the works, which include 12 watercolours, have come
up with divergent views on their authenticity while the couple, currently
detained in the Czech Republic, has offered no information on how they came
into possession of the works.
The works left France for Prague on Thursday under police escort.