In incredible news, Bulgarian officials say they discovered a previously unknown painting by Jackson Pollock during an investigation into an international art trafficking operation.
According to Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), which first reported the find Tuesday, the painting could be worth up to €50 million ($54 million). Citing sources close to the investigations, BNR said that the raid targeted an organized criminal group that operated across Athens, Greece, and the Greek Isles of Sofia and Crete. Three Greek citizens and one Bulgarian have been apprehended so far.
The painting, in which the faint signature of Jackson Pollock is allegedly visible, has been turned over to experts. A preliminary examination suggests it is an original uncatalogued work by the seminal American Abstract Expressionist from 1949, according to the Novinite news agency. No further details on the painting have been provided.
Pollock was famous for his “drip and splash” style of what Harold Rosenberg coined in a 1952 article in ARTnews as “action painting.” He died at age 44 in 1956, leaving behind a short number of known works. Drip paintings by Pollock have surpassed $60 million at auction.
“This is an international operation with the participation of Europol, Greece and other countries,” Petar Todorov, Bulgaria’s Chief secretary of the ministry of internal affairs, said, per Novinite.
“To our great joy, we managed to establish and keep this painting and at the moment the expertise shows that it is an original.”