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Philippines searches for masterpiece paintings missing after Marcos family exile

Imelda Marcos file.jpg

Sept. 17, 2007 - FILE photo of Former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos in Quezon City, north of Manila.AP

A Philippine official says the government is trying to locate more than 150 missing paintings, including ones by Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Michelangelo, from an art trove belonging to former first lady Imelda Marcos, but a lack of funds and other difficulties are hampering the search.

Andres Bautista said Monday the list of paintings was compiled from various documents after a 1986 "people power" revolt ended former dictator Ferdinand Marcos' 20-year rule and sent his family into exile in Hawaii.

Bautista, who heads the agency responsible for recovering Marcos' alleged ill-gotten wealth, said there are likely to be more paintings that are not on the list, including one by Claude Monet that was sold by a former Marcos aide for $32 million.