Paintings, including Picasso print, returned after framer left them on NYC subway platform

Monday, June 2nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) - A framer who absent-mindedly left two works of art on a subway platform - including an original Picasso print - was reunited with his lost property on Monday.

William Bailey, 63, breathed a sigh of relief as he took back the works belonging to a client _ a Picasso rendering of two male figures and a $6,500 recreation of the painter's ``Guernica'' by Henri Matisse's great-granddaughter, Sophie Matisse.

They were returned by sidewalk book vendor Paul Abi Boutrous.

``I'm feeling great. I'm feeling ecstatic,'' Bailey said. ``It was like a Hitchcock movie.''

Abi Boutrous, who received a $1,000 reward, said he was given the portfolio by two homeless men who found it on the platform and, not realizing what it was, decided they had no use for it.

Abi Boutrous said he took the portfolio home and only realized what he had when he read about Bailey's plight in a newspaper.

``We didn't realize what it was until we saw it in the paper, and I was, like, `Wow! What's this doing in my house?''' said Abi Boutrous' son Philip Abi Boutrous.

There was no estimate of the Picasso's value.