Stolen Masterpieces 'Crushed by Garbage Truck'
Paris cops reveal fruits of art heist probe
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2011 4:31 PM CDT
"Le pigeon aux petits poids" by Picasso was one of the stolen works.   (Wikipedia)

(Newser) – A Paris watchmaker says he threw out several priceless works of art before being arrested last year, the Telegraph reports. Revealing a 17-month investigation today, police say a Serb nicknamed "Spiderman" stole works by Picasso, Matisse, Braque, and others from a poorly guarded Paris museum in May 2010. An antiques dealer then allegedly passed the works to a watchmaker with expertise in auctions, who "panicked and destroyed the canvasses before throwing them into a rubbish bin."

Detectives are dubious, they say, but can't "totally rule out" his story. In another delicious detail, police say "Spiderman" sought only a Fernand Léger work when he broke into the Musée d'Art Moderne opposite the Eiffel Tower—but the alarm didn't sound, so the "veritable art lover" strolled around for an hour while eluding cameras. Eventually he walked off with five works worth an estimated $100 million. Police say he snitched on the antique dealer after failing to receive his promised $40,000 payment.

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
Oct 10, 2011 3:20 PM CDT
My guess is that that same thing happened to the paintings stolen from the Gardner Museum. Whitey Bulger told the crooks, "get rid of this stuff, it's too hot to move."
Oct 10, 2011 8:33 AM CDT
im heading out to the louvre...want anything?
Oct 10, 2011 12:56 AM CDT
Let me see; Spiderman robs $100 million worth of art work and he's only to get $400K out of this deal? Some how the math just doesn't add up; if I were him I'd get myself a better agent to represent me and a couple of more math classes to boot.