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‘Missing’ Picasso spotted in Imelda Marcos’s home after son’s election win

The glimpse of a possible Picasso in the home of Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines widely accused of corruption, seen during a visit by her son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, after his election win has set off a flurry of speculation in the Philippines.


Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., is the presumptive president-elect of the Philippines. Following a landslide victory on May 9, Marcos Jr.’s win has been met with growing concern in the Philippines, where his family previously plundered billions of pesos under his father’s dictatorship, ARTnews reported.

After his win, the Marcos family released footage of him visiting Imelda. Hung on the wall in her home are multiple artworks, including what appears to be Picasso’s Femme Couchée VI (Reclining Woman VI)⁠—or possibly a replica of it⁠—placed above the sofa.

One of eight paintings targeted for seizure by anti-corruption authorities in 2014, it remains unclear whether the painting is authentic.

Some have suggested that the painting is indeed real, including Andres Bautista, a former chairperson at the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), which was set up to recover funds gained by the Marcoses by corrupt means. In an interview with Rappler, Bautista claimed that the Picasso painting that the PCGG had seized was “a fake, it was a tarpaulin so it’s still with them.”

Ruben Carranza, a former commissioner for the presidential commission on good government (PCGG), which was set up to investigate and recover ill-gotten wealth, said it was unclear if the painting was a genuine Picasso, the Guardian reported.

“Mrs Marcos has had a habit of buying fake paintings, as well as lending fake paintings for display,” Carranza said.


He further told the Guardian newspaper: “The fact that she’s now displaying it just shows not just the duplicity of Mrs Marcos – but that she has to display the duplicity and the extravagance that she thinks she’s displaying for Filipinos to see … That says something even worse.”

He said: “It shows this really, absolutely uncaring attitude for Filipinos. They’ve not only now been led to believe that [the Marcoses] have gold. Now, they’re leading them to believe, again, that they have so much wealth that they can just display it whenever they please,” said Carranza.

During his 20-year reign, Ferdinand Marcos Sr. plundered as much as $10 billion. He was deposed in 1986, causing economic instability that is still impacting the Philippines today.

Currently, Imelda is appealing a 2018 criminal conviction on seven corruption charges, while the family continues to face dozens of unresolved cases regarding their wealth.

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