Early Tuesday morning, millions worth of art was stolen from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The museum is currently showing a collection of works from the Triton Foundation in celebration of its 20th anniversary. The paintings were some of the most valuable in the collection. Previous auction prices are listed after titles:
– Monet’s Waterloo Bridge and Charing Cross Bridge, and others in the series—$3.52 million – $35.46 million
– Picasso’s Tete d’Arlequin–$15.6 million
– Matisse’s La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune and others—$3.85 million – $328.64 million
– Freud’s Woman with Eyes Closed and Naked Portrait—7.82 million
– Gaugin’s Femme Devant une Feneêtre Ouverte, dite La Fiancée
– Meijer de Haan’s Autoportrait
Just looking at previous prices, the total value of the stolen work is at least $36 million—but today it’s probably much more. The thief, however well prepared to pull off the heist, won’t be able to auction them legitimately, though. All of the paintings taken have been reported to The Art Loss Register, which is in charge of tracking stolen artwork. All art is verified at legal auction houses to make sure it’s a) real, and b) not stolen. Sale on the black market is possible, of course, but the seller would only be able to get about 5-10% of the real value.
The museum is currently working with police to investigate the robbery, which is the largest art theft since 20 paintings were stolen in Amsterdam in 1991. They are currently reviewing videotape footage and asking for witnesses to come forward.