Spanish police fly to Corsica to retrieve Picasso masterpiece smuggled out of country

Spanish police say they have sent a team of experts to the French island of Corsica to retrieve a Picasso painting owned by a Spanish banker.

Authorities in Spain say the 1906 painting — "Head of a Young Woman" — is a national treasure and could not be taken out of the country.

A spokesman for Spain's Civil Guard said four police experts in national heritage and several Culture Ministry officials flew early Tuesday to recuperate the painting that is valued at 24 million euros ($26 million).

The officer said they expect to return with the painting later Tuesday.

He was speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with police regulations.

The painting, owned by Jaime Botin, was seized by French police off a boat in late-July.