Greece recovers Picasso and Mondrian paintings stolen from gallery in 2012

Greece recovers Picasso and Mondrian paintings stolen from gallery in 2012

ATHENS – Greek police recovered a work of art by Pablo Picasso and another by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, both stolen from the National Gallery of Greece in 2012, they announced on Monday.

Thieves broke into the gallery and tore off Picasso’s 1939 painting “Head of a Woman”, donated by the artist in 1949, and Mondrian’s “Mill” dated 1905.

To deceive the guard, the thieves had activated the gallery’s alarm system several times before entering the building in the early hours of the morning. The guard only turned off the alarm to later spot one of the thieves using the motion detector.

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Before escaping, the thief dropped another Mondrian painting from 1905.

Police found the two works of art hidden in a gorge in the Athens area on Monday and arrested a Greek, a police official said on condition of anonymity.

Greek authorities are due to make official statements on the case on Tuesday.