igor stravinsky
In 1917, Stravinsky met the great artist Pablo Picasso in Italy. While visiting him, Picasso drew a picture of Stravinsky. Igor packed it in his luggage to bring back to Switzerland.

When the customs officer inspected the suitcase, he thought the portrait was a spy plan. Their conversation went like this:

“What is this sketch?”
“My portrait drawn by Picasso.”

“Nonsense. It must be a plan.”
“Yes – the plan of my face.”

The official believed that Stravinsky was a spy carrying a secret military plan.

The composer called on his friends at the British Embassy to identify him and get the picture back.

Portrait of Igor Stravinsky by Pablo Picasso, 1920
Portrait of Igor Stravinsky by Pablo Picasso, 1920