Pranksters Bury Fake Picasso in Romanian Forest

A Dutch writer who thought she had found a missing Picasso in Romania has now said she was the victim of a hoax.

A Romanian-born Dutch writer who thought she had found Picasso’s missing Harlequin Head has revealed that she was the victim of an elaborate hoax.

Mira Feticu wrote a book on the sensational theft of seven masters from the Kunsthal in Amsterdam in October 2012, which was named the “theft of the century” for its daringness.

The paintings had an estimated value of million of euros.

The works by Picasso, Matisse, Monet and others have never been found.

However, after an anonymous tip off about the missing Picasso, Feticu headed for eastern Romania where she dug up what she thought was Picaosso’s Harlequin Head in a forest, concealed in a plastic bag.

She handed it into the authorities last Saturday. On Sunday, however, she told the Dutch media that she had since received an email from a Belgian theatre company, explaining that her “find” was part of a forgery project.

“Called True Copy”, it was done in homage to the famous Dutch forger Geert Jan Jensen and aimed to expose important questions about “the value of truth”.

Four Romanians were jailed for the Amsterdam robbery in 2013 and 2014.

Gang leader Rado Dogaru’s mother, Olga, meanwhile said she had burned the art works in a cottage, after her son failed to find a buyer on the black market, in order to protect him.“I placed the suitcase containing the paintings in the stove. I put in some logs, slippers and rubber shoes and waited until they had completely burned,” Romania’s Mediafax news agency reported her as saying.

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