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Thieves Steal Art Worth Millions from Dutch Museum

Sophie Elkus |
October 16, 2012 | 1:00 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Kunsthal Museum- Creative Commons
Kunsthal Museum- Creative Commons
Art works worth hundreds of millions of euros by legendary artists Picasso, Monet, and Gauguin are among pieces stolen from the Rotterdam Kunsthal museum Tuesday morning. Police are still unclear on how thieves succeeded.

“Those thieves got one hell of a haul,” a spokesman for the Art Loss Register said.

Also see: The Daily Beast

Security experts speculate that the thieves may have used Rotterdam’s port to quickly move the paintings abroad, The Guardian reported. They could be stolen to order by art collectors or used for ransom by the thieves. It is unlikely they will be sold on the mainstream market due to their fame.

The works were named by museum management Tuesday afternoon as Picasso’s Tete d’Arlequin; Matisse’s La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune; Monet’s Waterloo Bridge, London, and Charing Cross Bridge, Gaugin’s Femme devant une fenetre ouverte, de Haan’s Autoportrait and Freud’s Woman with Eyes Closed.

Security expert Tom Cremers called the Kunsthal a wonderful museum but a nightmare to protect, The Guardian said.

“As a gallery it is a gem… but if you hold your face up to the window at the back you have a good view of the paintings, which makes it all too easy for thieves to plot to take them from the walls,” he said.

The gallery is currently closed as forensic experts search for clues.

Also see: The U.K. Guardian


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