Stolen Matisse worth $3 million found in Florida
A Matisse painting "Odalisque in Red Pants" that has been missing for a decade has been allegedly discovered in Florida, officials said Wednesday.
Investigators say the painting was stolen from the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art in Venezuela in 2002, and is currently valued at $3 million.
Undercover FBI agents have arrested two suspects, Pedro Antonio Marcuello Guzman, 46, of Miami and Maria Martha Elisa Ornelas Lazo, 50, of Mexico City when they tried to sell the painting in Miami, CNN reports.
Undercover agents acted as possible buyers. According to a statement from FBI and federal prosecutors, Pedro Antonio Marcuello Guzman was aware the painting was stolen and wanted to sell it for $740,000.
Maria Martha Elisa Ornelas Lazo is alleged to have brought the artwork from Mexico to the USA.
She arrived to Miami on a flight from Mexico City on Monday. Her luggage included a red tube containing the painting, prosecutors said.
On Tuesday FBI agents arrested both Ornelas and Marcuello.
The two are facing charges of transportation and possession of a stolen painting, the FBI said. If the pair are found guilty they could be jailed for up to 10 years.
AFP Photo / Felix Gerardi