Police recover paintings stolen from French villa

30th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

French police have recovered several paintings stolen from a private collection last year, including a Picasso worth 180,000 euros (220,000 dollars), a source close to the case said Wednesday.

A total of 27 out of the 32 paintings were discovered Tuesday evening in La Ciotat on the French Riviera, the source said.

The works were stolen on December 30 from a private villa in nearby La Cadiere d'Azur.

One person was taken into custody, and another suspect was tracked down to Thailand.

Last week, one person was indicted for theft through organised crime and imprisoned following an operation targetting 11 suspects involving around 100 officers.

Two people were charged in April with receiving stolen goods in relation to the case.

The owner of the paintings, a French businessman, in January offered 100,000 euros in exchange for the paintings and set up a telephone hotline.

The total value of the stolen items was estimated at 500,000 euros, including a 1961 sketch by Pablo Picasso.

© 2010 AFP

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