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Turkish Cops Find Alleged Picasso

June 6, 2000

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ Police have recovered a painting believed to be a stolen Picasso and arrested six people in the city of Izmir, news reports said Tuesday.

The artwork _ said to be the 1908 oil painting ``La Fermiere″ (The Farmer’s Wife) _ was recovered after two Syrians and four Turks attempted to sell it to undercover police for $6.5 million, private television station NTV reported.

Turkish police and Interpol were searching for the painting’s original owners, Izmir Police Chief Hasan Yucesan told reporters.

Police did not say when the painting was stolen or when it was recovered. They believe the painting was stolen from a Middle Eastern country.

A panel of three art experts determined it was an original painting by Pablo Picasso, the Anatolia news agency reported.

``The painting is Picasso’s,″ Yucesan said. ``It’s original, and its back is signed.″

The painting will be stored at the state art museum in Ankara until its owner is found, Culture Ministry spokesman Nafiz Sahin said.

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