Police in Brazil have found a work of art worth millions of pounds stolen from an elderly widow in an alleged conspiracy to involve a prophet.
Authorities believe six people were involved in stealing 16 paintings, which are worth more than 700 million reais (£113 million).
The run included museum-quality pieces by Brazilian artists Tarsila do Amaral and Emiliano di Cavalcanti.
Police say the conspiracy was hatched by the daughter of the 82-year-old widow, who was married to an art collector and dealer.
One video shows Sol Pointe – a famously immortal painting of the sunset – found at the bottom of the pile when authorities searched for more than 10 pieces under a bed.
“Wow. Look who’s here. Little beauty. Glory,” one officer could be heard shouting as he removed the bubble wrap from the work of art.
According to local media, the widow’s daughter was also among those arrested on Wednesday.
Police say the pictures were not taken in a robbery, but through a thief including a self-styled prophet.
Police said that in January 2020, the ‘fortune teller’ contacted the widow in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, and informed her that her daughter was ill and would soon die.
It is claimed that the widow of mystical faith was forced to transfer a total of 5 million riyals (£803,456) to the con artist over the course of two weeks for alleged spiritual healing.
Her daughter reportedly fired the staff at her home for allowing her teammates to go inside and pick up the art pieces.
Police say that after the work was stolen, the group threatened the widow, and she transferred more money.
Three of the 16 pieces were found in an art gallery in So Paulo, where the owner said he had bought them directly from the woman’s daughter.
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He told police that he had also sold the Latin American Art Museum in Buenos Aires to two other people.
A spokesman told the Associated Press that Eduardo Constantini, the founder of the world-renowned museum, has purchased the work for his personal collection, and possibly for display in the future.