Former banker Jaime Botín has paid the fine of 91.7 million euros imposed by the Justice for a crime of smuggling. The former president of Bankinter took from Spain despite the express prohibition of the Ministry of Culture the painting Head of a young woman, a Picasso from 1906, valued at 26.2 million. As published the newspaper Expansión, the businessman paid the financial penalty a few months ago in the hope of thus avoiding the three-year prison sentence to which he was also convicted of this crime.
They intercept a Jaime Botín boat with a Picasso who was prohibited from leaving Spain
Court number 27 in Madrid sentenced Botín in January 2020 to 18 months in prison and a fine of 52.4 million, although a month later, in a modification of the sentence, it increased the sentence to three years in prison and the aforementioned amount. The brother of the deceased Emilio Botín also alleges his age (85 years) to be assigned to a Social Insertion Center (CIS) and not to jail.
The businessman always defended that he did not smuggle because the painting “was painted abroad” and there he would have had “his permanent home”, aboard the Alix. The truth is that Young Woman’s Head was acquired by Botín at the Marlborough Fine Art Ltd gallery in London in 1977, but the painting was not produced there. Pablo Picasso painted it more than a century ago in Gósol, a town in Lleida that then did not have 800 inhabitants, in the spring of 1906.
The Board of Qualification, Valuation and Exportation of Spanish Historical Heritage assets assured in December 2013 that there is no “similar work” in Spain as it is one of the few that are preserved from the so-called “Gósol stage”. With such data, the National Court confirmed four years ago “that it was an Asset of Cultural Interest that in no case could leave Spain.”
Botín knew perfectly well the historical value of the painting, that is why he would have hidden it in his luxurious sailboat Alix with the help of his captain and was heading with him to Corsica, from where he planned to fly to Geneva.
Previously, the defendant had tried to sell Previously, the defendant had tried to sell the work to the prestigious auction house Christie’s, which was planning to put it up for auction at its London headquarters in February 2013. However, Botín needed an export license and, faced with the impossibility of the Ministry of Culture granting it, he decided to take a promenade aboard the Alix accompanied by the millionaire cadre.