US returns Picasso's La Coiffeuse to France

The painting has been authenticated by a group of French experts. Photo: BBC/AFP

US officials have returned to France a Picasso oil painting that was stolen from a Paris museum 14 years ago.

La Coiffeuse (The Hairdresser), a cubist painting from 1911 valued at $15m (£10m), was found in a shipment from Belgium to Newark, New Jersey, in December 2014.

A label described it as a mere handicraft worth $37.

It was handed over to the French embassy in Washington by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

"We're so glad that it's going to be shown to the world again," the agency's director, Sarah Saldana, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The painting was last seen on public display in Munich, Germany, in 1988.

It was then returned to Paris' Centre Georges Pompidou. The museum reported it stolen from its archives in 2001.

Experts from the museum authenticated the painting as Picasso's earlier this year.


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