Art & History

Famous stolen paintings rumored to be destroyed or lost (Claude Monet II)

Waterloo Bridge, London (1901) (MONET SERIES)

On October 16, 2012, seven paintings were stolen from the museum. The paintings were Monet‘s Waterloo Bridge, London and Charing Cross Bridge, London, Picasso’s Tete d’Arlequin, Gauguin’s Femme devant une fenêtre ouverte, Matisse‘s La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune, De Haan’s Autoportrait, and Lucian Freud’s Woman with Eyes Closed.

 At the time the museum was showing avant-garde art work by more than 150 artists from the Triton Foundation as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations. The robbery took place that morning at around 3:00 AM. Even though the alarms had gone off the thieves had left the premises by the time police arrived. According to Rotterdam police, “The alarm system in the Kunsthal is supposed to be state of the art. We’ve got no reason to believe that it’s not but somehow the people responsible for this found a way in and a way out.” Director of Art Loss Register suspects that the most valuable paintings were targeted and that they could be worth “hundreds of millions of euros” if legally sold at an auction. However, the paintings had been registered as stolen in their database.

The alleged thieves were arrested in Romania in July 2013. It is unclear what happened to the paintings: Olga Dogaru, whose son, Radu, has confessed to his involvement in the theft, initially claimed that she had burned them all in an effort to protect him; however, she subsequently denied this in a court hearing. However, investigators found pigments and nails of the correct age for the stolen paintings in her fireplace.

This photo released by the police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012, shows the painting ‘Waterloo Bridge, London’ by Claude Monet. (AP)

Empty space seen at Kunsthal museum 16 Oct, 2012

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