News / Asia

Philippines Seeks Return of Marcos Paintings

Vilma Bautista (C), the ex-secretary of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, smiles after her sentencing at the Manhattan Supreme Court  in New York, Jan. 13, 2014.
Vilma Bautista (C), the ex-secretary of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, smiles after her sentencing at the Manhattan Supreme Court in New York, Jan. 13, 2014.
Reuters
The Philippines aims to recover three paintings, including one by French Impressionist Claude Monet, that a former aide of Imelda Marcos has been jailed in the United States for trying to sell.
 
Vilma Bautista, 75, a one-time secretary to the powerful wife of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was on Monday sentenced to six years in a New York prison for a scheme to sell art that once belonged to the former first lady.
 
Among the pieces that Bautista managed to sell was “Le Bassin aux Nympheas” by Monet, from his famed water-lily series, that netted $32 million.
 
That one can't be recovered but the Philippines is determined to get back three unsold paintings that Bautista had in her possession: another Monet, “L'Eglise et La Seine a Vetheuil,” Alfred Sisley's “Langland Bay” and Albert Marquet's “Le Cypres de Djenan Sidi Said”.
 
“We want the three paintings back,” Andres Bautista chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, told reporters in Manila.
 
“We will recover them. They were acquired with state funds so they belong to the Filipino people,” he said.
 
Andres Bautista is not related to Vilma Bautista.
 
Andres Bautista said the government would file a civil case in New York to recover the paintings. He did not give an estimate of their value.
 
Bautista headed an agency tasked in 1986 with recovering about $10 billion of ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies. He said about 150 works of art were being sought.
 
“This will take time, it may take a lifetime,” he said.
 
Vilma Bautista was convicted in November of conspiracy and tax fraud charges related to the sale or attempted sale of four museum-quality paintings acquired by Marcos during the two decades that her husband was president of the Philippines.
 
The art disappeared around 1986, when Marcos was ousted in a popular uprising. He died three years later in Hawaii.
 
Bautista sold Monet's “Le Bassin aux Nympheas” for $32 million to a London gallery.
 
Imelda Marcos, 84, has been charged with civil and criminal crimes, but never been jailed despite evidence of massive wealth accumulated during her husband's 1965-1986 rule, most famously in the form of her huge collection of designer shoes.
 
She is a congresswoman and has denied that her family's wealth was ill-gotten.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid