Former Marcos aide charged with secretly keeping Monet painting
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The former secretary to Imelda Marcos was indicted Tuesday in New York on charges of conspiring to sell artwork that the former Phillipine first lady acquired during her husband's presidency, including a Claude Monet water-lily painting.
The paintings, which the Philippine government claims it owns, disappeared around the time Phillipine President Ferdinand Marcos was forced from power a quarter century ago.
The ex-aide, Vilma Bautista, 74, a New York resident, was charged on Tuesday with conspiracy and other crimes. She pleaded not guilty in Manhattan state court and was released on $175,000 bond.
"Unfortunately, our client is in the middle of a dispute between the Phillipine government and the Marcos family that has been going on for years," attorney Fran Hoffinger said after the arraignment. "This is a civil dispute. It does not belong in criminal court."
Bautista is accused of secretly keeping and, with the help of two nephews, selling "Le Bassin aux Nymphease," one of Monet's "Water Lilies" series, to a London gallery in 2010 for $32 million, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. The nephews also were charged in the case.
Other paintings Bautista is accused of secretly keeping are Monet's "L'Eglise et La Seine a Vetheuil," Alfred Sisley's "Langland Bay," and Albert Marquet's "Le Cypres de Djenan Sidi Said."
Imelda Marcos, known for her extravagant lifestyle and thousands of shoes, is not expected to face charges in the case, prosecutors said. Ferdinand Marcos died in 1989.
The Philippine government filed corruption charges against the strongman and his wife in 1987, seeking tens of billions of dollars in damages for plundering the nation's wealth, including illegal expensive works of art, clothes and jewelry. (Reporting By Karen Freifeld; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Cynthia Osterman)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- US STOCKS-Dow, S&P 500 end at record highs; BoJ move adds fuel to rally
- Judge rejects strict limits on U.S. nurse who treated Ebola patients |
- 'Plastic' Halloween skulls found in Connecticut are human remains
- Judge rejects strict limits on U.S. nurse who treated Ebola patients
- Protests force out Burkina president, soldiers vie for power
Kalki Koechlin is one of the few Bollywood actresses in recent years to build her star power while proving her talent in indie and mainstream cinema. Koechlin, 30, who was born in India to French parents, spoke to Reuters about her role as a disabled girl in "Margarita, With a Straw" and spending two months in a wheelchair for the part. Full Article
Test flight of Virgin Galactic spaceship ends in fatal crash in California. Full Article