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Paintings of Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Modigliani Léger stolen, worth €500 million

 
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 06:30 am
Quote:
Five paintings worth €500m (£430m) " including masterpieces by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse " have been stolen from a Paris museum, French police said today.

A police spokesman said works by Picasso, Matisse, George Braque, Amedeo Modigliani and Fernand Léger were reported missing early this morning from the Paris Museum of Modern Art.

The pictures are: Le Pigeon aux Petits Pois by Picasso; La Pastorale by Matisse; L'Olivier Près de l'Estaque by Braque; La Femme a l'Eventail by Modigliani, and Nature Morte aux Chandeliers by Léger.

The burglary was discovered just before 7am. A window had been broken and the padlock of a grille giving access to the museum was smashed. CCTV footage showed a person climbing in through a window.

Police and investigators have cordoned off the museum, which is in the 16th arrondisement, across the river Seine from the Eiffel Tower.

Le Monde reported that the paintings were so well-known that it would be difficult to sell them on the open market. Previous thefts have involved paintings being stolen to order on behalf of private collectors.

A member of staff at the museum said questions about the theft would only be answered by the office of the Paris mayor, Bertrand Delanoe.

The theft is being investigated by the Brigade de Répression du Banditisme, France's elite police armed robbery unit.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 7 • Views: 4,775 • Replies: 19
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 06:39 am
@Walter Hinteler,
http://i49.tinypic.com/166gjfn.jpg
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 06:42 am
Crime usually does not pay because of the caliber of the people who go into the profession. People who do thefts like this are stupid, plain and simple. They'll never sell these paintings.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 06:54 am
@Setanta,
True. I suppose, some art collector is by now sitting in his cellar and admiring the paintings with his torch ...

0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 06:54 am
http://i47.tinypic.com/294j4b4.jpg

Brochure of the Paris museum HERE
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 07:23 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Crime usually does not pay because of the caliber of the people who go into the profession. People who do thefts like this are stupid, plain and simple. They'll never sell these paintings.

You don't think they had a buyer set up before they did the job? That would be stupid.

I always figured that the buyers hired someone to do the crime for them and funded the operation as well as buying the goods.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 07:44 am
Even at a thief's discount, the price tag for this set of paintings is going to be large enough that i doubt a single collector could afford such an operation. Perhaps a consortium of collectors might have financed this, but that would be conspiracy which is always the downfall of criminal enterprise. I heard an art critic on CBC this morning pointing out that most such thefts are done by people who are just too stupid to realize that they won't be able to move the swag. A single collector would attract the attention of banking officials to come up with the money to pay for a collection like that. I could be wrong, of course, but i suspect this was a "wildcat" operation, and the theif will soon be dismayed to learn what a dumb mistake he's made. Consider the recent case of the Munch which was stolen, "The Scream." Four men have been convicted for that theft.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 07:50 am
@Setanta,
Hmm, interesting. I have no idea how such things are funded. Unfortunately, I don't have nearly enough money to ever have to figure out how I would do it Wink
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 10:36 am
@rosborne979,
Im sure that ros is right. Look at the Gardner's heist. While theres only a handful of collectors that can afford this kind of work, there is a market that is based on a value thats "reality discounted"

I get scared when I see a collection of works that are collaborative. Matisse and Picasso were always "zinging" each other by trying to out abstract a specific scene or swubject. Apparently the two they had hung together werent of that style .
I hope they can get these clowns so that it doesnt set off some art heist mania.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 10:44 am
The value of all the stolen paintings is now corrected by the museum: something between 90and 100 million Euros. ( D'après les estimations de la direction du musée d'art moderne, la valeur des toiles est estimée entre 90 et 100 millions d'euros.")
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 11:28 am
I wonder about the contemporaneous non-working security system... and whether there was an in-house aspect to this.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 11:56 am
@ossobuco,
The museum's burglar alarm was not working since two months according to French sources. (Only the security cameras were working.)


In French that's "Un «dysfonctionnement partiel» du système d'alarme dans une partie du Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris" - A "partial failure" of the alarm system in a part of the Museum of Modern Art in the City of Paris.


Christophe Girard deputy mayor of Paris in charge of culture nonetheless said Thursday that the theft was carried out "with an extreme level of sophistication suggesting an organized crime operation." There were three security guards on site each night, who saw nothing, he said.
"Entering into the museum and by removing a window pane, choosing exactly five paintings and leave thwarting surveillance by the guards, video surveillance, it is impressive." (Source for the last:own translation from 20minutes.fr)


Original AFP reporting:
AFP
20/05/2010 | Mise à jour : 18:57
Le vol des cinq tableaux du Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris a été
réalisé "avec un niveau de sophistication extrême qui laisse penser à une opération de grand banditisme", a estimé aujourd'hui Christophe Girard, adjoint au maire de Paris chargé de la Culture. Il y avait trois professionnels de la sécurité sur place comme chaque nuit qui n'ont rien vu, a-t-il indiqué.

"Entrer ainsi dans le musée en démontant une vitre, choisir précisément cinq toiles et repartir en déjouant la surveillance des gardiens, les vidéos de surveillance, c'est impressionnant. On a affaire à un niveau de sophistication extrême. Cela ressemble à une opération de grand banditisme, du crime organisé", a déclaré Christophe Girard.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 01:04 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Those paintings should rotated around randomly in 3 or 4 museums so the palaning of the heists could bemade more difficult eg. assassination attempts.
0 Replies
 
cross505
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 01:23 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I think there would be many people willing to buy these, they will be kept low for a while but then there are many people that would love to get their hands on them. but the people that stole it would probably already have buyers lined up. and seemly there was only one man seen one the cameras but i highly doubt this as one man could not pull of a robbery this big.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 04:10 am
@cross505,
I guess that this museum will have to adaopt the same policy that they have over at the Louvre. Last time we were at the Louvre we were there on 0one of the normal 5 oclock days and they did their "Sweep". I never knew wheree all these cops came from.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 07:56 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Even at a thief's discount, the price tag for this set of paintings is going to be large enough that i doubt a single collector could afford such an operation.

It may be an insurance extortion. crims offer the paintings to the insurance company (via an intermediary) for less than they are insured for.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 08:33 am
@dadpad,
Most museums only purchase some loss limit amount of insurance. Its like a payroll ceiling in baseball. Your insurance isa for the entire collection and it is, I believe, on a claims made basis. SO the museum may be without ANY insurance coverage .

STill, an insurance scam would probably need to have a significant amt of time to pass so that there is some sense of "lundering" the paintings between the perps and the "fence"
0 Replies
 
sgkvdn
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2018 08:15 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
There are 100 "pictures" of Le Pigeon aux Petits Pois, they all differ: Does someone have proof (picture in museum?) if it's portrait or landscape, and the original colors? Could you please let me know?

Peter ([email protected])
0 Replies
 
sgkvdn
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2018 08:16 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter, is this an ORIGINAL picture?
0 Replies
 
priyasharma1011
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Dec, 2018 07:34 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Very nice, Thanks for sharing.
0 Replies
 
 

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