The search for Imelda Marcos’ missing art collection has come a step closer with a disputed Monet confiscated and sold for $10m dollars. The proceeds for the sale of the painting will be given to the victims of martial law, under the brutal Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.
The long standing case between the Philippines Government and Mrs Marcos’ former aide, diplomat Vilma Bautista has now been resolved. Ms Bautista was arrested after attempting to sell the work of art to a London gallery in 2010, for $32 million. It has long been suspected that the painting had been offered on behalf of Mrs Marcos.
American human rights lawyer Robert Swift stated “It is poetic justice that the victims are benefiting from a valuable painting that Imelda Marcos purchased and revered,”.
The substantial settlement is expected to be distributed to the victims sometime in 2014. By then, Swift and his Filipino co-counsel Rod Domingo said they shall have recovered more art from Imelda’s collection. Judge Manuel Real, awarded the victims the sum and was the judge in the original $2-billion ruling against the Marcoses estate in 1995.
The missing Monet painting is only the tip of the iceberg for a collection that spanned several continents and included three Pablo Picassos, a major Vincent Van Gogh, ‘L’Eglise et La Seine, ‘Vetheuil’ by Monet, Alfred Sisley’s ‘Langland Bay,’ and Albert Marquet’s ‘Le Cypres de Djenan.