A stolen painting by Henri Matisse, valued at over two million pounds has been recovered by the FBI after a sting operation, in a Miami hotel room. The painting, which disappeared from the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum in Caracas, Venezuela ten years ago was titled, ‘Odalisque in Red Pants’ and was painted by the master Modernist in 1925. The painting was purchased by the museum from the prominent Marlborough Gallery, in New York, for $400,000, in 1981. It was out on loan to an exhibition in Spain in 1997 and soon after its return, it was discovered that someone had replaced it with a crude copy of the masterpiece.
Founded in 1973, the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum of Caracas (MACCSI) is testament to the determination of Sofia Imber who, with the help of the Centro Simon Bolivar and others, created and gave the capital a magnificent artistic legacy. Inaugurated on the 20th February 1974, it is one of the most important museums in Caracas covering both national and international artists in the genres of painting, sculpture, drawing, cinema, video and photography.
Currently, the museum’s 16,000 square metres of space for the exhibition of Novecento art serve as the framework for a permanent collection of nearly 3,000 works. Under the supervision of the museum’s director and founder, Sofia Imber, a selection of pieces by the great masters of our day, like Picasso, Leger, Chagall, Miro, Botero and others, have been incorporated and these works are in themselves valuable historical, formal, aesthetic and pedagogical reference models.
The museum also has important works by artists including Reverón, Miró, Jean Arp, Botero, Víctor Vasarely, Riverse, Auguste Rodin, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Jacobo Borges, Fernando Botero, Georges Braque, Asdrúbal Colmenares, Red Groms, Henri Laurens, Francis Bacon, Alberto Magnelli, Marisol, Larry Rivers, Miguel Von Dangel and Pedro León Zapata.