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For 20 years, the art world has been searching for “Portrait of Dora Maar”—a painting by Picasso that has had the world scratching their heads. Art detective Arthur Brand has finally cracked the case, locating the portrait in Amsterdam two weeks ago, according to Hypebeast.
The painting—which was thought to be included in the artist’s private collection until his death in 1973—was last spotted on a Saudi sheikh’s personal boat in 1999. In a storyline that’s more fitting for an action film than the real world, Brand shared with The New York Times that he was contacted by two people with solid connections in the industry about the Picasso’s whereabouts. “They told me, ‘It’s in the hands of a businessman who got it as payment, and he doesn’t know what to do with it,’” Brand shared with the Times. “I talked to the two guys and we made a plan to get it out of his hands.”
After their conversation, the contacts brought the painting right to Brand’s door. After unveiling the painting, he did what any sane person would do: He hung it on his own wall for a moment. “The urge was too great; I couldn’t resist,” he shared with the Times.
After it was authenticated, the painting was turned over to Dick Ellis, founder of Scotland Yard’s art and antiques squad. And while Brand doesn’t know if he’ll see a reward for his work, he’s not too concerned. “My reward was to have a Picasso on my wall for one night. I can tell you, it was great.”
Talk about a great story to tell at family reunions for generations to come.