$11.5M Picasso seized by US authorities for Italy

AP News
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Posted: Jun 24, 2013 6:49 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York federal judge says the U.S. government can hold a 1909 Pablo Picasso painting titled "Fruit bowl and cup" for the Italian government.

The painting estimated to be worth $11.5 million was held by Justice Department authorities after a Manhattan judge signed an order Monday.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington said in a release that Italian authorities requested the seizure. The agency said the request came after the painting's owner was charged with embezzlement and fraudulent bankruptcy offenses in Italy.

Authorities said Homeland Security agents seized the painting on May 21 when it was being offered for private sale.