A Spanish billionaire art collector faces an 18-month prison sentence and a fine of around Rs 410 crore by the Madrid High Court for attempting to smuggle Pablo Picasso’s paintings abroad without official permission. A Spanish court tried to illegally carry the ‘Head of a Young Woman’ painting outside the country by 83-year-old Jamie Botin, a former Spain bank chief.
According to reports, Jamie bought this painting of Picasso in 1977. He was accused of selling the painting to an auction house in London. In 2015, the customs officers seized the painting from Jamie’s yacht. At that time the yacht was on Corsica Island, France.
Jamie’s case of smuggling paintings was going on since 2015. The cost of this painting is said to be around Rs 205 crore. It is currently housed in the Raina Sofia Museum in Madrid. Actually, there is a rule in Spain that any object older than 100 years is declared a national heritage. He has to get permission from the administration and the manufacturer of the item before selling it, while Jamie did not take permission from anyone before selling petting.
Jamie could have served a longer sentence, but since he is older and was found involved in such a crime for the first time, he was sentenced to only 18 months in jail. However, Jamie had rejected the charges leveled against him in court. He said that he had bought this painting of Picasso from Switzerland. His lawyer also argued in the court that when it was bought from abroad, there is no case of smuggling.