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Monday, September 14, 1998 Published at 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK

World: Americas

Swissair plane: Picasso painting and other valuables aboard

Swissair says the airline's plane that crashed into the sea off eastern Canada twelve days ago (Sep 2) was carrying nearly sixty kilos of valuables and a painting by Picasso.

A spokesman for Swissair's cargo department in Zuerich said the Picasso picture, called "The Painter", was estimated to be worth around one-and-a-half-million dollars.

He said the valuables included fifty kilos of banknotes which were secured in a shock- and fire-proof container and destined for an American bank in Switzerland. (However, he did not say what currency theyr were in and how much they were worth.) The announcement came as a United States navy salvage ship prepared to begin lifting parts of the wreckage of the MD-Eleven jet from the bed of the ocean. (Investigators have already recovered the plane's voice and flight flight data recorders.

All two-hundred-and-twenty-nine people on board the Swissair plane died in the crash.)

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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