Duo Sentenced for Trying to Sell Stolen Henri Matisse Painting: Authorities

“Odalisque in Red Pants” was brought from Mexico City to Miami last July, officials said

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013  |  Updated 9:26 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Top Entertainment Photos

AP/Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum

A fake version of the painting by Henri Matisse titled "Odalisque in Red Pants," was on display in the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum of Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 30, 2003. The original was stolen around December 2002, authorities said.

advertisement
Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

Two people were sentenced Tuesday for their roles in the attempted sale of a stolen Henri Matisse painting in Miami Beach, authorities said.

Pedro Antonio Marcuello Guzman, 46, of Miami was sentenced to 33 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, and Maria Martha Elisa Ornelas Lazo, 50, of Mexico City received a sentence of 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer and FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Steinbach announced.

The pair pleaded guilty Oct. 30 to charges relating to the transportation, possession and attempted sale of “Odalisque in Red Pants” by Matisse, the authorities said in a statement.

It was stolen from the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art in Venezuela around December 2002, they said.

Marcuello negotiated the painting’s sale for about $740,000 in a series of meetings with undercover FBI agents between December 2011 and July 13, 2012, authorities said.

He also agreed to have the work transported by courier from Mexico to the U.S., and on July 16 Ornelas took “Odalisque in Red Pants” from Mexico City to Miami, according to authorities.

The next day, on July 17, Marcuello and Ornelas produced the painting to undercover agents as part of the purported sale, authorities said. Both defendants knew the artwork had been stolen, authorities added.

More Local Stories:

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our New iPad App
Now optimized for iPad, NBC 6... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out