A lone thief stole five paintings worth $613 million from a Paris museum
A lone thief stole five paintings worth up to half a billion euros ($613 million) total, including major works by Picasso and Matisse, in a brazen overnight heist Thursday from a Paris modern art museum, police and prosecutors said.
The paintings were reported missing early Thursday from the Paris Museum of Modern Art, across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower, according to Paris police. Investigators have cordoned off the museum, in one of the French capital’s most tourist-frequented neighborhoods.
A single masked intruder was caught on a video surveillance camera taking the paintings away, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office. The intruder entered by cutting a padlock on a gate and breaking a museum window, it said.
Their collective worth is estimated at as much as euro500 million ($613 million), the prosecutor’s office said.
The stolen works were “Le pigeon aux petits-pois” (The Pigeon with the Peas) an ochre and brown Cubist oil painting by Pablo Picasso; “La Pastorale” (Pastoral), an oil painting of nudes on hillside by Henri Matisse; “L’olivier pres de l’Estaque” (Olive Tree near Estaque) by Georges Braque; “La femme a l’eventail” (Woman with a Fan) by Amedeo Modigliani; and “Nature-mort aux chandeliers” (Still Life with Chandeliers) by Fernand Leger.
Red-and-white tape surrounded the museum, where investigators were studying surveillance video. Paper signs on the museum doors said it was closed for technical reasons.
On a cordoned-off balcony behind the museum, police in blue gloves and face masks examined the broken window and empty frames. The paintings appeared to have been carefully removed from the dissembled frames, not sliced out.
A security guard at the museum said the paintings were discovered missing by a night watchman just before 7 a.m. (0500 GMT, 1 a.m. Thursday EST). The guard was not authorized to be publicly named because of the museum policy.
Museum officials and police would not immediately comment on reports that the alarm system had malfunctioned or been disabled.
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said in a statement that he was “saddened and shocked by this theft, which is an intolerable attack on Paris’ universal cultural heritage.”
Associated Press writers Christina Okello and Greg Keller in Paris contributed to this report.
More Related Stories
- Illinois' fracking and coal rush is a national crisis
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Kaitlyn Hunt refuses plea offer, will go to court over high school relationship
- DHS admits "impossible" to control 3D-printed guns
- Journalists file suit against Manning trial secrecy
- Russia: Syrian regime ready to talk peace
- Report: Nearly a quarter of all Americans struggle to afford food
- Ted Cruz against the world
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- 2 men arrested for endangering commercial aircraft
- Oversized load blamed for bridge collapse
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Iran hackers aiming at U.S. energy firms
- Lawyers release data in attempt to discredit Trayvon Martin
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Bridge collapse: Part of "aging infrastructure"
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- Amanda Bynes arrested after hurling bong from window
- Interstate 5 bridge collapses north of Seattle
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11