Lifestyle & Belief

Romania arrests 3 in Rotterdam art heist


'Danseuse Dans le Fauteuil, Sol en Damier, 1942' by Henri Matisse is displayed at Sotheby's Auction House on June 5, 2007 in London, England. The painting will be sold at auction along with masterpieces by Gerhard Richter and Francis Bacon.


Bruno Vincent

Romania authorities have arrested three suspects in last year's Rotterdam art heist, when paintings by Picasso, Monet and Matisse went missing.

"Three people have been arrested, but unfortunately we have not got back the paintings," Rotterdam police spokeswoman Yvette van den Heerik told the Associated Press.

Seven pieces, said to be worth tens of millions of dollars, were stolen from Kunsthal gallery in October. Art experts said it would be impossible to sell the paintings after news of their theft went viral.

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

According to BBC News, the missing masterpieces include Monet's Waterloo Bridge, Picasso's Tete d'Arlequin, Matisse's La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune and Freud's Woman with Eyes Closed.

The heist was the biggest the Netherlands has seen since 20 works disappeared from Amsterdam's Van Gogh museum in 1991.

Other paintings stolen in the October raid were a Gauguin and a Meyer de Haan, reported Reuters.

The news organization also said that a Bucharest district court ruled late Monday in order to allow authorities to hold three men for 29 days. The ruling was made after the court received a request from Romania's DIICOT government prosecuting office, which investigates organized crime and terrorism.