Art thief lawyers seek bargain over returned Picasso
Stolen paintings by Gauguin, Matisse, Monet and Picasso are set to become major players in a Romanian court case - and are being offered by defendant lawyers in an attempt to reduce the sentences of the art thieves who are on trial.
Lawyers representing a Romanian art theft gang are trying to negotiate a deal through which their sentences would be reduced in returned for giving up the art works. The paintings are valued at millions of pounds and were stolen 10 months ago from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam. 'Our clients want to tell where the paintings are, but they want to make a deal,' said lawyer, Radu Catalin Dancu, when interviewed by reporters, according to the New York Times . Another defendant lawyer, Maria Vasi, said after the court hearing opened in Bucharest: 'My client gave me the assurance that all of the paintings exist.'
The news is in conflict with statements previously made by the mother of one of the gang who said she had burnt all seven stolen paintings in a desire to destroy evidence against her son. The pair have changed their story on various occasions and it seems possible that just one, 'Woman with eyes closed' by Lucian Freud, was burnt. The trial is due to restart on September 10.