It began as a routine search operation for unlicensed arms before the BMC polls, but by the end of the day, Oshiwara cops had stumbled upon a painting that they suspect to be an iconic masterpiece created by the Father of Modern Art, Spanish painter Francisco de Goya. Cops are now trying to verify the authenticity of the painting.
Having received a tip-off that a property dealer at Oshiwara in Andheri (West) had four weapons in his possession, cops paid a visit to the residence of Majid Sultan Khan (32) last Tuesday. They recovered two rifles and two air guns on the premises. However, Khan managed to produce licences for the weapons.
Their job done, the cops were on their way out of the premises, but their curiosity was piqued when they noticed a large box in the house.
Asked what was stashed in the box, Khan replied that it contained an old painting that he had bought from a dealer.
"When we opened the box to check the painting, we were shocked to find out that it was from the 1820s and was a masterpiece by a great Spanish artist," said S Rupwate, Senior Police Inspector of Oshiwara police station.
Khan revealed that he had acquired the painting at the cost of Rs 20 crore. "Titled 'Saturn devouring his son,' it was exhibited in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, the capital of Spain," added Rupwate. An examination of the frame it was encased in revealed that it was an antique too. Cops then arrested Khan on charges of copyright infringement. He was presented before the court yesterday, which remanded him to police custody for two days. Cops have sent a report to the Spanish embassy, enquiring if the painting was stolen from the museum, in order to determine if the one in their possession is a fake Goya. "Only after the reports arrive will we prepare a chargesheet against Khan," added Rupwate.The artist and his work
Francisco Jos de Goya Lucientes (1746-1828) was a Spanish Romantic painter who painted some of the most dramatic and disturbing masterpieces known to the age, touching upon the Romantic themes of insanity, madness, fantasy, and the dark, dramatic realms of fantasy and nightmare. 'Saturn devouring his son' is arguably the most gruesome, but most well-recognised of The Black Paintings, a group of canvasses that portray intense, haunting themes, reflective of both his fear of insanity and by his bleak outlook on humanity.
The painting depicts a scene from Classical mythology, in which Saturn is seen devouring one of his sons, out of fear that one of them would overthrow him. Saturn is portrayed as a large, deformed monster who has bitten off his child's head.Not the only stolen Goya?
Francisco de Goya's The Duke of Wellington was stolen from the National Gallery, London on August 21, 1961 by Kempton Bunton, a retired truck driver. He concealed the famous painting for several years without being caught, and then decided to return it, by depositing it in the left-luggage office of New Street station in Birmingham. He confessed to the theft in July 1965 at a police station.