MADRID: Spanish customs agents seized a Picasso sketch worth over 450,000 euros from a passenger who arrived at Ibiza airport without declaring the artwork, reports AFP.
Agents found the 1966 sketch, dubbed Trois personnages, on July 5 in the suitcase of a man who arrived in the holiday island on a flight from Zurich, Spain’s customs office said in a statement Monday.
According to a preliminary analysis carried out by art experts, the sketch is indeed a work by the Spanish painter and the price charged by the gallery is in line with the market price, the statement said.
This first assessment will have to be confirmed by a more exhaustive analysis using advanced techniques, it added.
The passenger faces possible charges of smuggling for failing to declare an object of value when he entered Spain.
The customs office said they had singled him out for questioning after receiving a tip from their Swiss counterparts that he was transporting a piece of art in suspicious conditions.
Considered to be one of most famous artists of the 20th century, Picasso spent the bulk of his long life in France, dying there in 1973.