Hooded gunmen stormed a French museum in Nice yesterday afternoon and stole two Brueghel masterpieces, a Sisley, and a Monet. The thieves ordered employees to lie on the floor before stuffing the paintings in bags and fleeing. Police believe the heist was a "special order" for a private buyer because the works are too famous to be sold on the market.
Only six visitors were in the Beaux-Arts Jules Cheret museum when the thieves entered. The gunmen tried to take a fifth painting but were unable to do so, according to a staff member. The Sisley and Monet paintings had been stolen once before, in 1998, but were retrieved by police within days. The museum's curator was convicted of that theft.