Court Seizes Goya, Picasso and Other Priceless Paintings From Marcos Family

The court found that the paintings had been purchased illegally with public funds.

Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos (center) ruled the Philippines between 1965 and 1986. Photo by Marvin D. Lynchard, courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.

An anti-corruption court in the Philippines has ordered the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to return eight paintings by world-renowned artists. The court ruled that the paintings had been purchased with illegally acquired public funds.

During a 20-year rule in the Philippines, the Marcos family and their associates are believed to have accumulated over $11 billion in cash, jewelry, art, and other assets. Much of that fortune is believed to have been embezzled from taxpayer money. So far, approximately half of the amount has been recovered.

The court authorized police to search all offices and residences of former first lady and current congresswoman, Imelda Marcos, in Manila in order to seize the paintings.

According to the Inquirer, the paintings subject to seizure are La Baignade Au Grand Temps by Pierre Bonnard, Madonna and Child by Michelangelo, Vase of Red Chrysanthemums by Bernard Buffet, Still Life with Idol by Paul Gauguin, Portrait of the Marquesa de Santa Cruz by Francisco de Goya, L’aube by Joan Miro, Femme Couche VI by Pablo Picasso, and Jardin de Kew press de la Serre 1892 by Camille Pissarro.

Imelda, 85, has repeatedly avoided prison despite being charged with civil and criminal offenses relating to her husband’s rule between 1965 and 1986, and evidence that her family’s significant wealth was accumulated during that time. She has always maintained her innocence and continues to vehemently deny that her family made its fortune illegally.

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