The Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court has confirmed the judgments of the National Court which, in turn, confirmed the resolutions of the Ministry of Culture by which it denied the former president of Bankinter Jaime Botín the permission to export the painting ‘Young Woman’s Head’by Pablo Picasso.
For the moment the ruling has been advanced, although the full sentence will be announced in the next few days, according to Europa Press. The financier is sentenced to three years in prison and a fine of 91.7 million euros for the crime of smuggling cultural property.
In November 2019, Botín declared to the prosecutor that he had no intention of taking the Picasso out of Spain for auction in London, but that he wanted to keep it “in a safe place” in Geneva. However, he recognized that his initial intention was to sell it and got to speak with the auction house Christie’s.
Previously, in December 2012 BotÃn submitted a request to the Secretary of State for Culture to sell the painting, but this permission was denied due to its historical and artistic importance. In addition, the Community of Madrid was asked to declare itself a Site of Cultural Interest.
The ex-director of Bankia then claimed that the painting was not his property, but that of the Euro shipping Charter Company Limited and that the boat in which the Picasso was, AlixIt was not Spanish territory, as it was a British sailboat.
In 2015, the French authorities seized the work when the Alix was anchored in CÃ³rcega and it was returned to Spain.
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