The US government has stopped the private sale of a Picasso cubist work that was to trade hands for $11.5m because the owners are accused of embezzling $44m from the city of Naples, according to the AP and CNN:
“Restraining this valuable artwork is an effort to help recover some of the estimated $44 million that this couple stole from the tax-paying citizens of Naples,” ICE Director John Morton said in a written statement.
American officials obtained a restraining order blocking any sale and preventing the painting from being moved after Italian authorities asked for help in connection to the prosecution of Gabriella Amati. She and her late husband, Angelo Maj, were charged by Italian prosecutors with embezzlement and fraud.
US Stops Sale of Picasso Painting Valued at $11.5m (AP/CNN)