ABC News’s Miami affiliate reports on the recovery of a Matisse stolen from Venezuela more than a decade ago:
A man and a woman allegedly tried to sell Henri Matisse’s 1925 ”Odalisque in Red Pants” to undercover agents for $1.5 million, reported ABC’s Miami affiliate WPLG. […] The original painting of the dark-haired woman kneeling topless in red pants had been on display at the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum in Caracas since 1981, save when it was loaned to a Spanish exhibition in 1997, WPLG reported.
But an email correspondence in 2002 between the museum’s director, Rita Salvestrini, and Miami art collector Genaro Ambrosino regarding a rumor that the painting was for sale led to the realization that the Matisse hanging in the museum was a forgery. […]
An administrator at the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum confirmed to ABCNews.com that the painting had been stolen, but for security reasons, would not provide more information about the investigation.
The Caracas newspaper El Mundo speculated that the Matisse may have been swapped during the 1997 Spanish exhibition loan.