December 22, 2014
Venezuela welcomes ‘lost Matisse’ back home
A painting by Henri Matisse that was stolen more than a decade ago from a museum in Caracas will be welcomed home by Venezuelan officials tomorrow, completing the process of repatriation, Venezuela’s Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz announced this week.
Odalisque with red pants was painted by Matisse in 1925. It was stolen from the Venezuelan Museum of Contemporary Art in Caracas in October 2000, and is said to be worth around US$3 million.
It was recovered when a couple — Cuban Marcuello Guzmán, 46, and Mexican María Ornelas Lazo, 51 — tried to sell the painting to undercover FBI agents at a hotel in Miami in 2012. The thieves have been sentenced to 33 and 21 months in jail, respectively.