Monday, February 11, 2008
From latimes.com: Three armed men in ski masks stole four paintings by Cezanne, Degas, van Gogh and Monet worth $163.2 million from a Zurich museum in one of Europe's largest ever art heists, police said today.
The robbers, who were still at large, stole the paintings Sunday from the E.G. Buehrle Collection, one of Europe's finest private museums for Impressionist and post-Impressionist art, police said.
It was the largest art robbery in Switzerland's history and one of the biggest ever in Europe, said Marco Cortesi, spokesman for the Zurich police. He compared it to the theft in 2004 of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and "Madonna" from the Munch Museum in Norway.
The three masked men wearing dark clothing entered the museum a half-hour before closing Sunday, police said. While one of the men used a pistol to force museum personnel to the floor, the two others went into the exhibition hall and collected the four paintings.
One of the men spoke German with a Slavic accent, police said. They loaded the paintings into a white vehicle parked in front of the museum.
Police, asking for witnesses to come forward, said it was possible that the paintings were partly sticking out of the van as the robbers made their getaway. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]