Architect who designed “Putin’s Palace” has Picasso artworks seized by Italian authorities

Image - money laundering: StockerrShmokerr/shutterstock

The architect who designed “Putin’s Palace”, the luxury property on the Black Sea allegedly owned by Russian president Putin has had his artworks seized by Italian authorities. 

Lanfranco Cirillo, who has been based in Russia for many years and was granted Russian citizenship in 2014, is thought to have been avoiding tax and has been accused of money laundering and various other offences, as reported by

Speculation suggests that Cirillo may have even faked his move to Moscow in order to avoid paying taxes. Both Cirillo and his lawyer, Stefano Lojacono, have denied these claims.

Cirillo has also expressed disappointment over “the fact that he brought some prestigious properties and works of art in Italy – and provided for his wife and daughter- are now being used to argue that he faked his move abroad”, according to Lojacono. 

His assets, which amount to $144 million and constitute jewellery, cash, and 150 pieces of art which includes works by Modigliani and Picasso, were confiscated this week in order to pay what Cirillo owes. The mysterious Russian architect is thought to owe some $51 million in taxes. 

The Guardia di Financa, the arm of Italian law enforcement that deals with financial crimes, has released a statement which says that Cirillo is being investigated due to his failure to declare his income of “tens of millions of euros from 2013 to 2019”. 

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Annie Dabb

From Newcastle originally, Annie is based in Manchester and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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