Missing Picasso found? A photo suggests that Imelda Marcos from the Philippines might still have it.

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Topline

What may be a lost painting by Pablo Picasso has been spotted at the home of Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines and the widow of dictator Ferdinand Marcos – who allegedly embezzled billions of dollars from the Philippines before being ousted – after his son Ferdinand Marcos Jr. won the presidential election this week.

Highlights

After winning this week’s election, the family released images of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. celebrating with his mother at home, and Picasso’s ‘Reclining Woman VI’ appears on a living room wall above a couch.

The painting was one of eight targeted by the Philippine government in a seizure of the Marcos’ assets in 2014, but the one seized by the bribery court was later found to be a replica, according to Andres Bautista, the former president of the agency tasked with recovering the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family

A 2019 documentary about the Marcos family titled The Kingmaker also captured images of the Picasso after the 2014 seizure, director Lauren Greenfield confirmed.

Key Context

Before Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was ousted from the presidency after a popular uprising in 1986, he allegedly embezzled up to $10 billion from the nation’s coffers used to fuel a lavish lifestyle for himself and his family in buying massive hoards of shoes. and jewelry for Imelda, and the acquisition of an art collection worth millions, according to the Philippines Corruption and Bribery Court. Most of the wealth has not been recovered. During his 21 years of rule, his administration detained 70,000 people for subversion, and killed and tortured thousands more, according to Amnesty International. Imelda was found guilty of corruption charges in 2018 but has appealed. Despite his family’s notorious reputation, unofficial results show Ferdinand Marcos Jr. won this week’s election by a landslide after a years-long campaign to rehabilitate the family’s image which critics say relied on mass misinformation.

Further reading

Son of ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos about to win the presidential race in the Philippines (TUSEN)

‘Lost’ Picasso spotted in Imelda Marcos’ house after her son’s election victory (The Guardian)

Who is ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr and why are some Filipinos worried about his family’s return? (TUSEN)

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