Lebanese police seize stolen Dali painting

According to an ISF statement, the ISF recovered a painting thought to be an original work by Spanish artist Salvador Dali.
According to an ISF statement, the ISF recovered a painting thought to be an original work by Spanish artist Salvador Dali.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIRUT (AFP) - The Lebanese police has seized what it said was "probably an original" painting by surrealist master Salvador Dali and arrested four people suspected of attempting to sell it.

The 1954 painting, named Portrait de Mrs Reeves, dates from his classical period and is not considered one of his most important works.

The police said in a statement late Wednesday that it could fetch millions of dollars if confirmed to be an original, but records from the global auction house Christie's show it was sold for a more modest 89,500 British pounds (S$159,685.9) 20 years ago.

The painting is a full-length portrait of a high-society woman from the time during which the extravagant Spanish artist lived in the United States and painted many commissioned works of limited value.

The police said the painting had been stolen "from a country neighbouring Lebanon" and added it had detained three Syrians and a Lebanese national.