If you needed more proof that art theft is a futile, dead-end job, look no further than the Kunsthal heist of 2012. After the theft of seven masterpieces worth tens of millions of dollars ——a Picasso, two Monets, and a Matisse, among others—it appears that the mother of one of the suspects said she burned their cache of high-priced art partly because the thieves couldn't find any buyers.
"A Romanian museum is analyzing ashes found in a stove to see if they are the remains of seven paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Monet and others that were stolen last year from the Netherlands," reports the Associated Press, which adds that the ashes were found in the stove of one Olga Dogaru, the mother of prime suspect Radu Dogaru. The AP adds:
Dogaru told investigators she was scared for her son after he was arrested in January and buried the art in an abandoned house and then in a cemetery in the village of Caracliu. She said she later dug them up and burned them in February after police began searching the village for the stolen works.
According to Romania-Insider, an English-language news site, the suspects stashed the paintings at Olga's house because they were having trouble finding buyers. And citing a local report from Romania, the NL Times is reporting that experts have confirmed that the ashes are the burned remains of Monet and Picasso work. It should be noted, however, that the AP story conflicts with that local report, saying that the main prosecutor and officials said it could take months for the results to be confirmed.