Lebanese police seize stolen painting possibly by Dali

Lebanese Internal Security Forces seized a painting thought to be an original work by Spanish artist Salvador Dali in Beirut, Lebanon, on Friday. Photo courtesy Lebanese Internal Security Forces

Oct. 20 (UPI) — Lebanese authorities said they seized a stolen painting believed to be by Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali.

Security forces issued a statement Wednesday saying they took possession of the painting, Portrait of Mrs. Reeves, Friday, in the Cola neighborhood in Beirut. They said the painting was stolen from a neighboring country.

If proved to be authentic, the painting is considered one of Dali’s minor works. He completed a number of high-society portraits on commission, including some during his time in the United States.

The crime bureau of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces said the painting is worth millions of dollars. But art historian Lawrence Saphire told The Daily Star that Dali’s portraits tended to sell “for a few hundred thousand dollars because they are not considered serious paintings.”

Dali is among the most famous painters of the surrealist movement, which is characterized by illogical or fantastical scenes often painted in a realist style. Dali is perhaps best known for his painting The Persistence of Memory, which depicts a series of melting clocks amid vaguely human-like forms along a shoreline.

Dali died in 1989 at the age of 84.


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