(E) Croatia president gets stolen painting as gift
Croatia president gets stolen painting as gift Fri Mar 11, 2005 08:41 AM ET
ZAGREB (Reuters) - When Croatian President Stjepan Mesic received a painting from two prominent Roma, he was happy to have his picture taken, but when it appeared in the press, the painter recognized it as one of hers that had been stolen. The shock sent painter Slavica Medjeri to hospital with an acute heart condition, the Vecernji List daily said on Friday, but Mesic's office told her not to worry. "If the painting was stolen, it will be returned to the owner. The president accepts a lot of presents in good faith," it said in a statement to the daily. The painting was one of eight of Medjeri's works stolen from an exhibition last year.
Roma representative and poet Kasum Cana, who presented the painting, said he had received it as a gift last year.
"I had no reason to think it was stolen," he said.