Paintings Worth More Than $112 Million Stolen

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The museum's security system had been disabled, a gate padlock had been cut and a window had been broken. But guards working overnight did not see a masked thief steal off with five valuable paintings from the Paris Museum of Modern Art.

The Associated Press reports a video surveillance camera captured a single masked intruder in the museum. The next morning, Pablo Picasso's "Le pigeon aux petits-pois," Henri Matisse's "Pastoral," Georges Braque's "Olive Tree near Estaque," Amedeo Modigliani's "Woman with a Fan" and Fernand Leger's "Still Life with Chandeliers" were missing. The works are estimated to be worth about $112 million.

The director of a neighboring modern art museum said the thief would not be able to resell the paintings. "All countries in the world are aware, and no collector is stupid enough to buy a painting that, one, he can't show to other collectors, and two, risks sending him to prison,'' said Pierre Cornette de Saint-Cyr, according to The AP. ''These five paintings are un-sellable, so thieves, sirs, you are imbeciles, now return them.''

Investigators have closed the museum and cordoned off the surrounding neighborhood, which is across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower.

4:00 PM UPDATE: THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED TO REFLECT THE NEW ESTIMATED WORTH OF THE ART AS ABOUT $112 MILLION.

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