7 paintings stolen from a museum in Rotterdam, including Picasso and Gauguin Automatic translate
Early Tuesday morning, seven masterpieces of world painting, stole by Picasso, Monet, Gauguin, Matisse and Lucien Freud, were stolen from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam. The museum, which for the first time in the history of the Avant-Gardes (Vanguard) exhibition, exhibited a private collection owned by the Triton Foundation, was immediately closed to visitors after the theft, but the bare walls that recently housed paintings are clearly visible through the windows of the building the museum.
Theft has become one of the largest in Europe in recent years. Recall that in 2010, five paintings were stolen at once, including the work of Picasso and Matisse, for a total of about 100 million euros from the Museum of Modern Art (Musée d’Art Moderne) in Paris. The crime has not yet been solved.
Police officers who arrived at the scene carefully examined the recordings of CCTV cameras. From the materials it became known that the thieves entered the museum at about 3 a.m. The alarm went off, but when the police arrived, the paintings had already disappeared.
Works of art collected by the Dutch collector Willem Cordia, who died in 2011, were first presented to the public at the Kunsthal exhibition, which opened last week. The stolen paintings were painted at different times: "Self-portrait" by Meyer de Haan - in 1890, "Girl in Front of Open Window" by Gauguin - in 1898, "Waterloo Bridge, London" (Waterloo Bridge, London) and Charing Cross Bridge, London Monet - in 1901, Reading Girl in White and Yellow Matisse - in 1919, “Harlequin Head” by Picasso - in 1971, portrait of “Woman With Eyes Closed” by Lucien Freud - in 2002.
“The theft was carefully thought out and cleverly executed, which betrays professional thieves,” said Charles Hill, a former Scotland Yard employee who was involved in the search for Edward Munch’s Scream, which disappeared in Oslo in 1994.
“The volume of the stolen allows us to draw two conclusions: either someone owed a lot of money, or the theft was commissioned by a very influential person in the criminal world,” Hill continues. “But I am inclined to believe that someone simply decided to pay huge debts in this way,” he said.
Marc Masurovsky, a historian and expert on stolen art from Washington, noted that the selection of stolen works was most likely not random. “These works were isolated and deliberately stolen,” he notes.
Willem van Hasse, chairman of the Kunsthal Museum, announced the closure of the museum for a day for investigative activities. At a press conference for journalists, van Hassel emphasized that all necessary security measures had been taken. At the same conference, the director of the museum, Emily Ansenk, said that security was carried out by technical means at night, without the participation of people. According to Ansenk, after receiving the alarm, the police arrived at the scene within five minutes.
Ms. Ansenk told reporters that theft of this level is a nightmare for any museum director. The cost of stolen is tentatively estimated at one hundred million dollars. It is impossible to sell stolen masterpieces in the market because of their wide recognition.
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