Swiss prosecutors raid freeport looking for Modigliani

The Geneva papers say local prosecutors entered the storage facility to determine the location of the disputed Modigliani. At present, no one is saying whether the authorities seized the work or even located it:

The Geneva public prosecutor wasted no time. Two days after opening unsolicited inquiries for “to audit” in relation to the revelations of Panama papers, prosecutors went to action. The prosecutor Claudio Mascotto conducted Friday morning a search on the site francs Ports Geneva, in the premises of the works of art storage company Rodolphe Haller.

According to our information, the prosecution is interested in a painting by Modigliani, The man sitting leaning on a cane. A painting valued at $ 25 million, including Panama papers have revealed the true owner, art collector David Nahmad. When contacted, the Public Ministry has not wished to make any comment.

This morning Bloomberg confirmed with the prosecutors that the painting had been confiscated:

As part of the case, investigators on Friday searched facilities at the Geneva Free Ports, and confiscated the painting, “Seated Man with a Cane,” the Geneva Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement Monday.

Mossack Fonseca's role in fight over painting stolen by Nazis

Mossack Fonseca helped a New York art gallery defend itself over a claim about a Nazi-looted artwork after the apparent original owner’s descendant launched a legal battle for its return, the Panama Papers reveal.

The case involves a £18m Modigliani painting taken from Paris when the Germans marched into the city in 1940 and the role played by Mossack Fonseca, as the family who say it is theirs fought for its return.

The artwork in question is the 1918 Seated Man With a Cane, and the story of its theft and reemergence blends the injustice of treasures taken during the second world war with the smoke and mirrors of 21st-century offshore tax havens.

The descendant claims the painting was owned by Oscar Stettiner, a Jewish gallery owner in Paris who fled weeks before the Nazis entered the city. He managed to get his wife and children to the Dordogne but had to leave his collection behind.