It appears that masterpieces by Picasso, Matisse, Monet, and others might have met an untimely end in an oven in Romania. The works, which would have been worth millions on the auction market, were stolen last year in a daring heist at the Rotterdam Kunsthal Gallery. The Guardian reports that thieves broke in through an emergency exit of the museum and absconded with the paintings … in two minutes, – three minutes short of the arrival of the police.
The paintings were first buried in an abandoned house – then in a a cemetery – then dug up and maybe burned by the mother of one of the men reportedly responsible. The theft was one of the biggest art thefts in more than a decade in the Netherlands. The mother’s story is just a story at this point; authorities are examining the ashes to determine if, in fact, they are the remains of the 20th century masterpieces. One Radu Dogaru, the alleged ringleader of the heist, remains in custody, along with two other suspects.
The Guardian lists the stolen works; they are: Picasso’s 1971 Harlequin Head, (pictured above;) Monet’s 1901 Waterloo Bridge, London and Charing Cross Bridge, London; 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.