Agents of the National Police they have recovered in Brussels a painting of the painter Joaquin Sorolla valued at three million euros. About the work, titled “Before the bullfight”, there was an intervention order issued by the Provincial Court of Malaga within the framework of Malaysian operation. Once located, the painting was delivered this morning by the depositor at the headquarters of the Embassy of Spain in Belgium.
The investigation began last June. Agents specialized in Historical Heritage of the National Police, and in compliance with an order of the Provincial Court of Malaga, carried out the search of a home in order to locate a series of works that should have been delivered at the time to the Judicial authority. Among them they were looking for the painting by Joaquín Sorolla entitled “Before the bullfight.”
The diligence was unsuccessful as none of the claimed works were found, the owner stating that he had sold them to a company about four years ago. After that, the agents reviewed the export permits and they verified that the wanted painting had been granted an authorization to leave our territory with the possibility of sale. For this reason, the appropriate investigation procedures were initiated in order to determine both the whereabouts of the work, as well as the identity of its owner or person who represents it.
Investigators found that the work had been exhibited at an art and antique fair in New York, although, when the depositor notices that there could be some type of claim on the work, withdrew from sale. Advancing in the investigation, it was found that the work had been deposited by the person who had applied for the export permit in a warehouse in Brussels.
Once reliable knowledge was obtained, through the efforts carried out by the National Police attaché at the Embassy of Spain in Belgium, of the place where the work is located, the facts are communicated to the Provincial Court of Malaga, which issued the mandatory order to the depositor to deliver it to the Embassy headquarters, an end that was carried out this morning.
The owner of the work, condemned at the time by the Provincial Court of Malaga in the Malay operationa, was arrested as the alleged perpetrator of a crime of punishable insolvency.