Thieves with impeccable taste in art raided the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam early Tuesday morning and came away with a Picasso, a Matisse, and two Monets along with masterpieces from Freud, Gauguin, and de Haan—enough for the thieves to start their own gallery if they weren't going to be selling those works of art on the black market (which is pretty much the only option for art thieves). Citing investigation protocol, museum officials have declined to say specifically which pieces were taken, how they were taken, and haven't tabulated the price of the stolen loot—a standard "a few paintings were taken that represent a considerable sum" was given to the BBC and Businessweek by Kunsthal spokespeople. Though, according to the website Dutch News, local station RTV Rijnmond reported that Henri Matisse's Reading Girl (right) is among the missing. Reuters is estimating (safely) that the art stolen is worth millions.
The paintings taken were a part of the Kunsthal's new Avant Gardes exhibition, which was to commemorate the museum's 20th anniversary. Dutch police are reviewing videotape footage and calling on any witnesses to come forward, and according to the museum's website, officials have closed the museum today until further notice.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.