Henri Matisse 'Odalisque in Red Pants' theft: 2 Florida people sentenced to prison

Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) -- Two people have been sentenced in Miami federal court for the attempted sale of a Henri Matisse painting stolen from a Venezuelan museum.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that 46-year-old Pedro Antonio Marcuello Guzman of Miami was sentenced to two years in nine months in prison, and 50-year-old Maria Martha Elisa Ornelas Lazo of Mexico City was sentenced to one year and nine months.

Both pleaded guilty to charges in October.

Court records show that FBI agents and an informant posing as art dealers were negotiating the sale for $740,000 of "Odalisque in Red Pants" with Marcuello in Miami last year.

The painting was discovered stolen from Venezuela's Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art in December 2002. The original work was swapped with a forgery.

Prosecutors say Ornelas brought the painting to a Miami Beach hotel from Mexico City.