Authorities Seize Imelda Art

Manila -- Masterpieces belonging to the former first lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos have been seized by government authorities, who claim they belong to the state.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network are likely to soon see Imelda's seized artworks show up at a state-run auction.

A quantity of valuable paintings by Michelangelo, Picasso, Gauguin, and Pissarro were taken away from homes owned by the 85-year-old congresswoman.

Mrs Marcos was known for her lavish lifestyle during her husband's 21-years in power as a world-leader.

Imelda Marcos was a compulsive collector who acquired a vast collection of art and antiques both in the Philippines and New York.

She from fled from Manila to the US when her husband, Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown. The US granted her political asylum, although much of her valuable property was seized. The new government has sought for the last 20 years to recover state owned goods, including her famous shoe collection which consisted of thousands of pairs of designer shoes.

Last year and aid to Mrs Marcos lost a court battle to keep possession of a Monet water lilly painting thought to belong to the former first lady. It had been offered to a London dealer who informed the authorities. It later sold for $10m.

Despite never going to jail, Mrs Marcos has been charged with a number of state crimes.

It is thought that her family amassed more than $10 billion in property, jewelry, cash and other assets during their time in power.

Other works taken from the politician were Joan Miro's L'Aube, Francisco de Goya's portrait of the Marquesa de Santa Cruz, Pierre Bonnard's La Baignade Au Grand Temps, Vase of Red Chrysanthemums by Bernard Buffet, and Camille Pissarro's Jardin de Kew series.

There are thought to be a total of 150 works of art in Mrs Marcos's possession, which the authorities are now seeking.

'Steel Butterfly'

Imelda Marcos (born July 2, 1929) is the widow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.

She began her career as a local singer and model in Manila before meeting her husband Ferdinand, who would later be elected President.

After the declaration of martial law in 1972, Imelda began holding positions in the national government that allowed her to travel the world and accumulate artwork and real estate.

The couple consolidated their power allowing them to transport funds from the Philippine treasury into offshore accounts, and banks in Switzerland.

President Marcos was accused of the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr.. This would lead to the People Power Revolution which forced the Marcoses out of office and into exile in Hawaii. After the death of Ferdinand, Imelda and her family were allowed to go home by Corazon Aquino.

Her return to the Philippines has since allowed her to restore her political dynasty.

She was elected to the House of Representatives in 1995 for Leyte and again in 2010 for Ilocos Norte.

Despite facing numerous cases involving alleged corruption, she was not imprisoned and continued to wield power. Her ability to survive upheavals in her life has led her to be called the 'Steel Butterfly'

Today's homepage Featured Art Video invites us to her recent 85th birthday celebration in The Philippines.