Painting seized at Poland border studied as possible Chagall

September 07, 2018 - 9:54 am

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Authorities are trying to determine if Marc Chagall was the artist of a painting that a man allegedly tried to smuggle into Poland from Ukraine.

Marta Szpakowska of the Treasury Office in Lublin said Friday that if the painting turns out to be a Chagall, it would be one of the most valuable items discovered during a smuggling attempt at the Hrebenne border crossing.

Polish customs officers reported finding the painting Tuesday under a jacket in the car of a 51-year-old Ukrainian man who had documents confirming his ownership of it.

Szpakowska said the canvas measuring 59 centimeters by 29 centimeters (23 inches by 11 inches) depicts a person holding a kite in the shape of a face.

A Chagall painting sold at auction last year for $28.5 million.