Time and again it has been illustrated that art thieves are more sophisticated in their ability to plan and execute a robbery than they are in figuring out how to dispose of the works that are almost always unsaleable. Now police fear that the latest €100m high-profile theft of Picasso’s Tete d’Arlequin, Monet’s Waterloo Bridge and Lucian Freud’s Woman with Eyes Closed from a Rotterdam museum may have resulted in the destruction of the works. Here’s AFP on what’s been happening after police tracked the works to Romania:
“Tests are underway, they will take some time,” Gabriela Neagu, a spokeswoman for the Romanian prosecutor’s office, told AFP. “The ash tests are a stage in the ongoing probe, investigators have to take every hypothesis into account.”
The ashes were taken from the house of Olga Dogaru, mother of one of the suspects and herself charged with “complicity to theft.”
Her son’s lawyer, Doina Lupu, said the tests “were inconclusive” so far.
Ms Dogaru was arrested in March after her house in eastern Romania was thoroughly searched. An empty suitcase which had presumably served to store the stolen paintings was unearthed during the operation.
Seven Romanians, including Ms Dogaru, have been charged in connection with the theft of the paintings from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal museum on October 16.
Stolen artworks from Picasso, Money and Matisse may now just be ashes (AFP)