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Dutch Thieves Steal Paintings by Picasso, Monet

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: October 16, 2012 Last Updated: October 22, 2012
Related articles: World » Europe
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Police stand guard at the Rotterdam Kunsthal museum on Oct. 16. Several paintings of considerable value were stolen from Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum where works by world-renowned 19th and 20th century artists including Picasso and Van Gogh hang. (Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty Images)

Police stand guard at the Rotterdam Kunsthal museum on Oct. 16. Several paintings of considerable value were stolen from Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum where works by world-renowned 19th and 20th century artists including Picasso and Van Gogh hang. (Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty Images)

Several Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Paul Gauguin paintings along with works from other artists, worth likely tens of millions of dollars, were stolen from a Dutch art museum Tuesday.

The thieves broke into the Rotterdam Kunsthal museum early in the morning in what was described as a well-planned heist, reported Reuters.

Paintings by Lucian Freud and Meyer de Haan were also stolen.

Jop Ubbens, the head of Christie’s in Amsterdam, told the news agency that they are worth “more than several million euros.” He added, “It’s all about name and fame. So the Picasso is the best known. The least well-known is Meyer de Haan, which looks like a Gauguin, so maybe it was a mistake.”

But Chris Marinello, who heads the Art Loss Register, told The Associated Press that the art is potentially worth “hundreds of millions of euros.” The Art Loss Register helps track down stolen artwork.

Marinello added that because the art is so high-profile, the thieves would have a difficult time finding a buyer, but they could possibly blackmail the owners, the insurers, or the museum.

“I’m confident these will find their way back,” he told Reuters in a separate interview. “The police in this area are very good, very well organized. I would not be surprised to see them surfacing over the next few weeks.”

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