3 works of art worth $15 million recovered in N.Y.

February 07, 1996|By NEWSDAY

NEW YORK -- Three works of art worth $15 million, including two Picassos, that were stolen from John F. Kennedy Airport were recovered late yesterday and law enforcement sources said an arrest "was imminent."

The sources declined to reveal details pending a news conference today. Port Authority detectives, FBI agents and investigators from the U.S. Customs Service were all involved. Earlier yesterday, a special agent in charge of investigations at the airport for the U.S. Customs Service, Thomas Smith, said the investigation was focusing on airport employees.

A New York City lawyer representing Avelino Espinosa Gonzalez, 29, the paintings' co-owner, said his client had brought the paintings to New York to have them appraised at Christie's and Sotheby's auction houses.

The lawyer, Kevin Dyer, identified the missing works as a 1927 painting by Pablo Picasso titled "Woman Seated With Skull In Left Hand," a 1956 Picasso drawing titled "Portrait of A Woman Dedicated to Jacqueline," and a 1897 painting by Camille Pissarro called "Paris Street."

The art owned by Mr. Espinosa Gonzalez and two others disappeared Thursday night.

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