PCGG seeks transfer of Marcos paintings to National Museum
MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Commission on Good Government has asked the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to allow the transfer of 15 paintings seized from the Marcos family to the National Museum to ensure their proper preservation.
PCGG Commissioners Ma Ngina Teresa Chan-Gonzaga and Vicente Gengos Jr, and Legal Department chief Ma Luisa Narvadez, made the request to the Sandiganbayan's First Division.
The PCGG officials sought the court's clearance after officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), where the paintings are now stored, said that while the BSP can secure the paintings, it does not have the expertise nor the necessary storage facilities to ensure their proper preservation.
The transfer was endorsed by the Office of the Solicitor General through Assistant Solicitor General John Emmanuel Madamba, State Solicitor Jennifer Fandialan-Legaspi, and Associate Solicitors Camille Buhain and Angelica Anne Recto.
"Given the foregoing, petitioner recommends the National Museum…as the new custodian/depositary of the seized paintings. (I)t is respectfully prayed that the National Museum be directed to do whatever is necessary to preserve the said paintings under judicial custody," the PCGG said.
In its manifestation filed with the Sandiganbayan on October 22, the BSP warned that the paintings that were already in poor condition and could further deteriorate within 6 months without proper storage and restoration works.
National Museum director Jeremy Barns had assured the PCGG that the state museum "has the technical, curatorial, and organizational expertise needed to properly care for and manage the subject paintings."
In a letter to PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista dated November 7, Barns said that that the museum is ready to assist in preserving the artworks pending final determination of legal ownership.
The 15 paintings seized by PCGG and court officers from the Marcos residence in San Juan City on September 30, which are now with the BSP, consist of a replica of Pablo Picasso's "Bass Strokes," 3 copies of Michelangelo's "Madonna and Child," and 11 works by Paule Gobillard.
Nine other artworks displayed in the House of Representatives office of Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos, widow of President Ferdinand Marcos, have also been attached by court sheriffs:
- "Madonna and Child" by Michelangelo Buonarroti
- "Vase of Red Chrysanthemums" by Bernard Buffet
- "Still Life with Idol" by Paul Gaugin
- "L’ Aube" by Joan Miro
- "Femme Cauchee VI" by Pablo Picasso
- "Jardin de Kew Prés de la Serre, 1892" by Camille Pissarro
- "La Baignade au Grand Lemps" by Pierre Bonnard
- "Picnic (Grandma Moses) 1959" by Anne Mary Robertson
- "Moon Madness 1982" by Andrew Wyeth
On September 29, the anti-graft court issued a garnishment order on 156 artworks by European artists including Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet, and Michelangelo after declaring them to be part of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family.
Marcos has petitioned the court to lift the garnishment and return the 15 paintings. – Rappler.com