A Pablo Picasso painting worth $16.33 million was seized by Italian authorities from a man who claims he was given the artwork for free.
The Rome resident, who owned a frame-making store, claims he received the painting as a gift after doing a favor for a customer in 1978. He told authorities he didn't even know it was a Picasso until last year. According to The Guardian, the piece was done during Picasso's Cubist phase in 1912 and depicts a man holding a violin. The description matches that of Picasso's "Man With a Violin," which was painted in 1912, but authorities have yet to officially confirm its identity.
The police began their investigation a year ago when auction house Sotheby's attempted to receive authorization for the painting's owner to ship the artwork out of the country.
Given the incredible value of Picasso's paintings, it's not a shock to see his work creating multiple headlines similar to this one. Just last month, Picasso's electrician claimed he had been given 271 of the artist's pieces, while someone swiped a Picasso painting worth $90,000 a couple months before that.
[via The Guardian]