Famous artworks targeted in Dutch museum theft

A number of paintings by famous artists, said to be worth a “considerable sum” have been stolen from a museum in Rotterdam.

Local police have said the artwork, which included pieces by Matisse, Monet and Picasso, were taken from the Kunsthal Museum sometime around Monday night and Tuesday morning.

A spokeswoman for the Rotterdam police, said:

“There was a break-in during the night and a few paintings were taken that represent a considerable sum,”

Advising the press that they are reviewing video footage, Patricia Wessels went on to say:

“We’re investigating how they got access, what time it happened and who did it.”

The works, which the Triton Foundation loaned to the museum, were being displayed to celebrate the museum’s 20th anniversary.

No security guards were on duty when the theft occurred and it is not clear what security shutters or window grills were used, if any, on site at the museum.

While many of the pieces owned by the private Triton Foundation had been on show before, the pieces taken had never before been displayed together. It will be a bitter blow to the display space, which does not have any permanent installations of its own.

Police are suspecting that the artworks may already have been removed from the country, using the port of Rotterdam for an expedient get away.

Witnesses are being urged to come forward, whilst the authorities have released details of all the pieces taken, which included Matisse’s ‘Reading Girl in White and Yellow’; Monet’s ‘Waterloo Bridge, London’ and Picasso’s ‘Harlequin’s Head’.

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