Turkish police recover stolen Picasso painting in Istanbul: Report

ANKARA (AFP) - Turkish police have recovered an original painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso in an undercover operation in Istanbul, state-run Anatolia news agency reported on Saturday (Ja n 30).

The operation targeted alleged art thieves attempting to sell the painting Woman Dressing Her Hair, which was stolen from a collector in New York, Anatolia said.

Turkish police, posing as potential buyers, met the prospective sellers at a hotel and then at a yacht in an Istanbul marina, the report revealed.

The suspects are alleged to have initially demanded US$8 million (S$11.4 million) for the painting but later settled on US$7 million.

The officers then arranged a meeting on Friday at a cafe, where they arrested two people, Anatolia said, citing police sources.

The woman who appears in the 1940 painting is Dora Maar - Picasso's lover and long-time muse, who is depicted in grotesque fashion, with a sunken ribcage, a swollen stomach and enormous feet.

The painting was sent to Istanbul's Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University for examination, Anatolia said.