On Wednesday 11th April the Serbian police made 4 arrests in Belgrade and the town Cacak and recovered according to local media the Paul Cezanne painting, the Boy in a Red Waistcoat, (worth more than 68 million pounds) that was stolen in 2008 from the E.G.Buehrle Collection in Zurich.
In a dramatic heist, the painting was seized along with a Claude Monet “Poppy field at Vetheuil”, a Van Gogh “Blooming Chestnut Branches” and a Degas “Ludovic Lepic and his daughter” by three masked robbers at gun point. The Monet and Van Gogh were recovered soon after the robbery however the Degas (worth about 8 million Euros) remains missing.
In “Operation Waistcoat”, the police had coordinated their investigation with other European police forces, found the Cezanne in the door panel of a car. The suspects had tried to sell the painting for 3.5 million euros and had received 2.8 million euros before the arrest.
The Serbian police have been active in retrieving stolen art work and recovered two Picasso paintings last October, stolen in 2008 from a gallery in Pfaeffikon, near Zurich. Watch this space for more information about stolen art work in the Balkans by organised crime.