Imee Marcos has no idea how Botong’s ‘Camote Diggers’ was removed from Malacañang
MANILA, Philippines — Senator-elect Imee Marcos said on Tuesday she has no idea on how National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco’s “Camote Diggers” was removed from Malacañang.
The unfinished painting of Francisco was given as a gift to Marcos’s parents, former President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Imelda, a few years after Francisco’s death in 1969.
“Naibigay talaga ‘yun ni Mrs. Francisco sa aking mga magulang. Nakasabit’ yun sa Malacañang. Last kong nakita nandon, (Mrs. Francisco gave that painting to my parents. It was in Malacañang. I last saw it there),” Marcos told reporters in an interview when asked on how the painting was removed from Malacañang.
“Kung paano nawala’ yun, wala akong idea (I have no idea how it got lost),” she added.
The last and unfinished painting of Francisco was earlier auctioned at Leon Gallery for P23.4 million.
However, the painting gained controversy after the gallery received a letter from Arnel Victor C. Valeña of Valeña Law Office on June 13, wanting to know how the painting landed at the Leon Gallery.
“To avoid controversy and possible politicization” of the painting, gallery director Jaime Ponce de Leon said the person who consigned the painting to auction decided to donate it to “an institution.” (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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