site.btaInterior Minister: It Is Very Much Likely that Seized Pollock Work Will Remain in Bulgaria
Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev said here Thursday it is very much likely that a presumed Pollock painting which had been seized in a law-enforcement operation, will remain in Bulgaria.
The painting was found during a raid by the General Directorate for Combating Organised Crime (GDCOC) in an operation which also involved foreign agencies. The seizure was made public on March 21.
Demerdzhiev said that the last work by Jackson Pollock which sold in an auction, fetched over EUR 100 million, which is an indication of what the work found in Bulgaria could be worth – if proven authentic.
bTV quoted experts as saying that the "Bulgarian" Pollock can fetch up to EUR 50 mln.
bTV also showed a signature on the back of the painting which is presumed to be of former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, suggesting that the painting was part of Ceausescu's collection.
In the words of Demerdzhiev, it was a classic criminal operation, in which Greek citizens tried to sell the picture via a Bulgarian man to people outside Bulgaria. The painting was not officially declared. While the dealer was looking for a buyer, the Bulgarian Directorate General for Combatting Organized Crime stepped in, seized the picture and reported the case to the prosecuting magistracy.
The Minister also said that work on the case took several months and it was made public only after two teams of experts said they believed the work was a real Pollock.
The prosecution service said Wednesday that it will take more tests to confirm definitively the work's authenticity.