ROTTERDAM - seven works tonight stolen from Rotterdam's Kunsthal. These are works of famous painters such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet en Paul Gauguin, are potentially worth millions.

According to police, the burglar is "well prepared". Tussen 03:00 en 04:00 hours the thieves are the property entered through a back entrance. Monitoring was not.

Radio Rijnmond reported this morning around quarter past seven first theft.

"I have a button to run the art gallery to see if there is evidence of burglary, but it's nothing to see. What took place happened subtly. "

(Reporter Marion Keete, Radio Rijnmond, 16-10-2012)
* Kunsthal Rotterdam, Wikipedia

The paintings are part of an exhibition that was composed for the 20th anniversary of the Kunsthal this year. They come from the Triton collection of the family of former shipping magnate Willem Cordia, who died last year.

The following documents have been stolen: 'Head Arlequin’ (1971) Pablo Picasso van; 'The Reader in White and Yellow’ (1919) Henri Matisse; ‘Waterloo Bridge, London’ (1901) en ‘Charing Cross Bridge, London’ (1901) van Claude Monet; 'Woman in front of an open window, said Bride’ (1888) Paul Gauguin; 'Self-Portrait’ (circa 1889 – ’91) Meyer de Haan; en ‘Woman with Eyes Closed’ (2002) by Lucian Freud.

"Do not sell '

According to Job Ubbens auction house Christies, the value of the paintings between six and fifty million. “But it's a stupid action if they are stolen to get money on the market. No one wants to come into contact therewith”, He says in the AD.

Ubbens does not exclude the stolen works are commissioned. They probably will be hung in a private collection and nobody gets to see them more, he says.

The possibility exists that the works be 'kidnapped' for ransom. Ubbens: "That's the most likely. Then, for instance, 1 million requested for a painting by Matisse. "

* Side of the Kunsthal, Google Maps


The security of the museum is much frowning eyebrows. There was nobody that tonight guarding the expensive cloths. Agents received a report of the burglar alarm had even earlier spot than the security guards of the company Trigion.

Security expert Ton Cremers says that the construction of this museum makes thieves easy to carry stuff. “Who once inside, has free play”, he says in De Volkskrant.

"Therefore it is a dragon of a building to protect. If you stand with your nose to the windows at the back, You can see the paintings "

(Ton Cremers, Radio Rijnmond, 16-10-2012)

Imposed as a bomb

The theft is stamped in the museum world as a bomb, said Kunsthal director Emily Ansenk. She was in Istanbul when she heard the news and flew back to Rotterdam.

Ansenk was this morning in Istanbul during a visit, when she was told the news. She immediately flew back to Rotterdam.

"We are shocked about what happened, but we do not let our chests "

(Kunsthal director Emily Ansenk, Radio Rijnmond, 16-10-2012)

Tomorrow the Kunsthal will open again, says director, because it is in its important that the public can continue to admire this work.

On the investigation into the theft Ansenk does not disclose. But she has every confidence in the police.

Hoe ging het verder?

The artwork never returned. The thieves took the seven paintings, with a value of such an 18 million euros, Roemenië.Daar threw it to the mother of the main suspect Radu Dogaru them in the stove. Justice found only scraps back the artworks.

The thieves had the artwork in a bag taken to an apartment in the French Jonker Street in Rotterdam and a day later were traveling by car to Romania.

It took six weeks before the Romanian justice had overtaken the identity of art thieves. An undercover operation was put on feet, a detective as art expert. But the art thieves got smart and dumped the paintings at the mother Dogaru.

In this case prison sentences of up to six years have been handed out. The thieves must also visit the Kunsthal 18 million pay. A Romanian photographer said in 2013 he was going to film the art theft.

NRC made a fascinating reconstruction of theft, research and flight of the thieves in an organized file. Find that file here.


AD – Seven tops child rows stolen from Kunsthal, 16 oktober 2012

Volkskrant – Seven tops child rows stolen from Kunsthal, 16 oktober 2012

RTV Rijnmond – Roof million from Rotterdam's Kunsthal, 16 oktober 2012

RTV Rijnmond – No guards at Kunsthal during Roof, 16 oktober 2012

RTV Rijnmond – "Art theft strikes like a bomb, 16 oktober 2012

Wikipedia – Kunsthal Rotterdam

digital Arts – Art theft is filmed Kunsthal

NRC Dossier – The Art of the Steal

Text: Dave Datema coop Ingrid Smits

published: 01 oktober 2017

story number: 78

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