NEWS

Europol, Interpol asked about art thief’s contacts

europol-interpol-asked-about-art-thief-s-contacts

Greek authorities have sent requests to Europol and Interpol for information about the contacts and travels of the 49-year-old who was arrested last week over the “heist of the century” from the country’s National Gallery in Athens.

Last week the Greek Culture Ministry announced the recovery of two paintings – Pablo Picasso’s “Head of a Woman” and Piet Mondrian’s “Stammer Windmill” – that had been stolen from the National Gallery in January 2012.

Attica police authorities have now requested information from the Dutch authorities through Europol as part of the investigation into whether his trips to Rotterdam coincided with the theft that took place at the Kunsthal museum in the city in 2012, during which seven paintings were removed.

Greek authorities have also contacted Interpol with regard to information about the 49-year-old’s travels to Dubai in order to look for potential buyers and to make contacts with art dealers.

The suspect was remanded in pre-trial detention after appearing before an investigative magistrate, who is to ask for an expert opinion about the two works of art that were recovered.

The certification of their value will also determine the subsequent criminal treatment of the perpetrator, as provided by the relevant provisions.

The detainee is reportedly professionally engaged in construction work as a painter.