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Four Picasso Paintings Found By Czech And German Police

June 28, 1991

PRAGUE, Czechoslovakia (AP) _ Four Picasso paintings stolen from the Czechoslovak National Gallery in early May and valued at $30 million have been recovered by Czech and German police, officials said today.

Three of the four paintings stolen on May 6 were shown at a news conference in Prague today, while the fourth one, identified as ″Absinth and Card,″ was reportedly intercepted in the German town of Bayreuth.

″I never thought I would see these paintings so soon and be able to confirm they are genuine,″ the gallery’s director general, Lubomir Slavicek, told journalists.

Prague Police Chief Pavel Hoffman said the paintings were recovered and thieves, described as Czech nationals and habitual offenders, detained in Prague on Thursday.

A later TV report today said the paintings were found in the apartment of a 46-year-old man in Prague. He was not further identified.

Hoffman said local authorities have asked the international police organization Interpol to arrange the transfer of the fourth painting back to Czechoslovakia. Hoffman said the theft was not carried out by an international crime organization nor on order from private collectors.

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