AFP

PARIS

A painting seized by Turkish authorities that was reported to be a stolen Picasso is a fake, the Picasso Administration, charged with managing the artist’s estate, said on Monday. The organisation said the canvas is a copy of a 1940 work by the great Spanish artist, “Woman Dressing Her Hair” - and the original is in the hands of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). MoMA confirmed to AFP that the original, a portrait of Pablo Picasso’s lover and muse Dora Maar, was part of its collection. The painting seized in Turkey is most certainly “a copy”, the Paris-based Picasso Administration said. Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency had reported Saturday that police had recovered the original “Woman Dressing Her Hair” and that it had been stolen from a collector in New York.

It was seized in an undercover operation in Istanbul targeting alleged art thieves who were attempting to sell it for $7 million. Turkish police, posing as potential buyers, met the prospective sellers at a hotel and then at a yacht in an Istanbul marina, the report said. Dora Maar, Picasso’s longtime muse, is depicted in the painting in grotesque fashion, with a sunken ribcage, swollen stomach and enormous feet.