The city of Athens is celebrating the recovery of two important stolen paintings. On January 9, 2012, it was believed that a gang broke into the National Gallery in Athens, stealing Head of a Woman by Pablo Picasso, Stammer Windmill by Piet Mondrian, and a sketch by Guglielmo Caccia. Another work by Mondrian was among the targets but it was dropped as the thieves fled. The heist took only seven minutes, leaving police puzzled for almost a decade.
The Guglielmo Caccia was discovered in a toilet shortly after the heist, most likely ditched due to damages. But the whereabouts of the Picasso and Mondrian remained unknown until now. With help from tips, the police narrowed in on a single individual believed to be part of a larger group of thieves responsible for the heist. Upon questioning, authorities were astonished to find out that not only did the man admit to the crime, but took sole responsibility for it; even explaining how he prepared for and conducted the crime.
The 49-year-old had enjoyed the works in his own home before first stashing them in a warehouse, then a dry gorge outside the city, once he knew the police were onto him.
Fortunately, the works were securely wrapped and protected from the elements. Now they are back home with added security measures!