Lifestyle & Belief

Art heist in Rotterdam: Picasso, Matisse, Monet paintings stolen from Dutch museum


Police investigators search for evidence at the Athens' National Gallery on January 9, 2012, after two artworks were stolen from the gallery overnight, police said. They did not identify the missing works, but the theft occurred on the final day of an exhibition titled 'Unknown Treasures' that included prints and etchings by Duerer and Rembrandt.



Seven priceless paintings by Picasso, Monet, Gaughin and others have been stolen from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam on Monday or early Tuesday morning. No details of how the heist took place have been released by the police.  

"A major investigation is under way and forensics are at the scene," a police spokeswoman told AFP. "We're investigating how they got access, what time it happened and who did it."

The theft, one of the largest in years to take place in the Netherlands, is a massive blow to the Triton Foundation collection, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to the BBC, the Kunsthal exhibition was showcasing the entire works in the Triton Foundation, a collection of avant-garde art, as part of its 20th anniversary. The Kunsthal museum, has no permanent collection of its own. 

Police spokeswoman Willemieke Romijn told the Wall Street Journal that investigators were reviewing videotapes of the theft.  

The Wall Street Journal reports that the stolen works were Picasso's 1971 "Harlequin Head"; Monet's 1901 "Waterloo Bridge, London" and "Charing Cross Bridge, London"; Henri Matisse's 1919 "Reading Girl in White and Yellow"; Paul Gauguin's 1898 "Girl in Front of Open Window"; Meyer de Haan's "Self-Portrait," around 1890, and Lucian Freud's 2002 work "Woman with Eyes Closed."