JUNE 6 — Detectives with Florida’s Miami-Dade police say they recently recovered a valuable charcoal sketch by Pablo Picasso, which had been stolen from aboard a 147-foot megayacht at a boatyard.
Police announced Thursday they had recovered the sketch and arrested a 48-year-old man in connection with the theft, the Miami Herald newspaper reported. An undercover immigration officer posing as a buyer reportedly made contact with the suspect in mid-May and had offered him $50,000 for the sketch.
The deal fell through, the report says, so police arrested the suspect at his home. The man, who claims he is not the person who stole the sketch, called another person who left the rolled up artwork under a palm tree in Miami. Police found the sketch but the drop-off person escaped.
“The priority was to recover the art,” Miami-Dade police detective Jeffrey Frau says in the report.
The sketch, a partial draft done by Picasso in 1925 for his painting, “Les Trois Danseuses” (“The Three Dancers”), was stolen in July 2004 from inside a 147-foot yacht being repaired at a boatyard in Miami, the report says. It is said to be worth $200,000. Picasso’s finished version is on display at the Tate museum in London.