Pierre Le Guennec, who worked for Picasso as a handyman in the 1970s, has been given a suspended sentence of two years in prison for the possession of 271 works stolen from the artist. The work, valued at €70m, will be returned the Picasso family.
Le Guennec had claimed that the collection of art was a gift from Picasso and his wife Jacqueline. It had been sitting in his garage for four decades; he claimed he had forgotten about it.
During the trial, held in February in a court in Grasse in the South of France, experts and acquaintances argued that it was “ridiculous” to believe that Picasso would have given away such a large amount of work. None of the work had signatures or dates, which raised suspicions as Picasso would normally sign works before giving them away.
Picasso’s works are the most stolen of any artist in history. He has more than 1,000 paintings registered as taken unlawfully, missing or disputed.
Read more about the trial here.