Philippines recovers eight paintings from Marcos family

Former Philippine first lady and congresswoman Imelda Marcos poses for photographers at the ancestral home of her late husband, former president Ferdinand Marcos, on her 85th birthday in Batac, Ilocos Norte in the northern Philippines, July 2, 2014. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine authorities recovered on Tuesday more than a dozen paintings, including a work by Pablo Picasso, from an office and residences of lawmaker Imelda Marcos, a day after an anti-corruption court ordered their seizure.

The court ordered the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos surrender eight paintings by famous European artists, declaring they had been illegally acquired with public funds.

The Philippines has estimated that Marcos, his family, and cronies amassed more than $10 billion in cash, jewelry, assets, stocks and works of art during a 20-year rule. About half of this amount has been found and recovered.

“I am not sure if we found all eight paintings that the court is looking for, but, I am sure the Picasso is one of them,” said Paul Lentejas, a counsel at the state agency tasked to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family.

Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Jeremy Laurence