'Inspector Clouseau' moment for Greek police after recovered Picasso painting falls to the floor

Wednesday, 30 June 2021 23:17
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Greek Police (EL.AS) experienced an "Inspector Clouseau" moment this week when a recently recovered painting by 20th century master Pablo Picasso fell while on display ahead of a televised press conference.

The painting, donated to the National Gallery in Athens in honor of the Greek people's resistance to Nazi occupation during WWII, is a 1939 Cubist work and one of a number of portraits of Picasso's partner, Dora Maar.

Propped up next to a Modrian painting also stolen during the January 2012 heist, the Picasso portrait sudden fell to the floor, all captured by waiting television cameras set up for what was expected to be a celebratory press conference by the relevant public order and culture ministers.

A man wearing a face mask but without gloves quickly propped the painting back in place, leaning it against a wall.

Police have charged a 49-year-old local man, identified as a house painter and decorator, as the thief who took Picasso's Head of a Woman and the second work by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.

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