£430m of paintings stolen in Paris
Thursday 20 May 2010
A lone thief has stolen five paintings worth a total of £430 million in an overnight raid on a Paris art museum.
The paintings, by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, George Braque, Amedeo Modigliani and Fernand Leger were taken from the Paris Museum of Modern Art, across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower.
Police have cordoned off the museum in one of the city's most popular tourist areas.
A single masked intruder was caught on a video surveillance camera entering the museum by a window and taking the paintings away, the Paris prosecutors said.
The paintings were Le Pigeon Aux Petits-Pois (The Pigeon With The Peas) by Picasso, Pastoral by Matisse, Olive Tree Near Estaque by Braque, Woman With A Fan by Modigliani and Still Life With Chandeliers by Leger.
Red-and-white tape surrounded the museum, where investigators were studying surveillance video. Signs on the doors said it was closed for technical reasons.
On a cordoned-off balcony behind the museum, police examined the broken window and empty painting frames. The paintings appeared to have been carefully removed from their frames, not sliced out.
A security guard at the museum said the paintings were discovered missing by a night watchman just before 7am.
Museum officials and police would not comment on reports that the alarm system had malfunctioned or been disabled.
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said he was "saddened and shocked by this theft, which is an intolerable attack on Paris's universal cultural heritage."
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore disappears over Java Sea
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The golden age of TV comedy is here
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
From Marvel to Star Wars: The rise of cinema’s shared universes
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times