art heist

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His 'Cool' Find at Estate Sale Was a Stolen Masterpiece

Painting by de Kooning is returned to University of Arizona 31 years after heist

(Newser) - "I just thought it was a cool painting," David Van Auker tells the Arizona Republic . He has good taste. It turns out the painting—which he purchased at a New Mexico estate sale—is a Willem de Kooning that was stolen 31 years ago from the University of... More »

'Born Burglar' Details How He Pulled Off Van Gogh Heist

Octave Durham spills all the details on 2002 theft in new documentary

(Newser) - "I'm a born burglar," says Octave Durham, per the New York Times , which looks at a new documentary about Durham's notorious theft of two Vincent Van Gogh paintings. Set to be broadcast Tuesday on Dutch TV, the 45-minute special by filmmaker Vincent Verweij gets the inside... More »

FBI Digs for Stolen Art at Aging Mobster's Home

Robert Gentile linked to infamous 1990 heist in Boston

(Newser) - Authorities aren't giving up the search for $500 million in paintings stolen in one of the largest art thefts in US history. On Monday, the FBI searched the property of an 80-year-old mobster linked to the 1990 theft of 13 paintings—including three Rembrandts, a Vermeer, and a Manet—... More »

FBI: Suspects in Infamous 1990 Art Heist Are Dead

But investigators still want to get the stolen paintings back

(Newser) - Don't expect newly released surveillance video from a famous 1990 art heist in Boston to result in the capture of the bandits, and not just because of the statute of limitations: The FBI says they're dead. An agency official in Boston won't identify the two men suspected... More »

'Complicated' Cuban Art Heist Uncovered

Paintings from national museum turn up in Miami

(Newser) - They're not quite working together, but American and Cuban authorities are both looking into the theft of at least 70 artworks from a Havana museum. In the first such heist reported since the 1959 Cuban Revolution, paintings worth a total of around $1.5 million were apparently cut from... More »

Picasso, Matisse, Monet Works Stolen in Huge Heist

Several paintings lifted from Kunsthal Museum

(Newser) - Several paintings have been stolen in an overnight break-in at a Dutch museum, including a Picasso, a Matisse, and two Monets, the BBC reports. The Kunsthal Museum has no permanent collection, and is currently showing works by more than 150 famous artists as part of the Triton Foundation's 20th... More »

Stolen Dali Returned—via Mail

And it was sent from Europe, no less

(Newser) - Weird: a thief stole a $150,000 drawing by Salvador Dali last week by just taking it off the wall of an NYC gallery and strolling out. Weirder: It was returned via mail, from Europe. The BBC reports that the Venus Over Manhattan gallery was sent a cryptic-sounding email earlier... More »

Thief Strolls Out of Gallery With $150K Dali Painting

NYC gallery visitor took painting off wall with guard present

(Newser) - Some art thieves use ingenious methods, some use brute force—and some just casually walk out with stuff. Police are looking for a thief who swiped a $150,000 Salvador Dali painting from a New York City gallery using the latter approach, reports the New York Daily News . The thief,... More »

Serbs Recover Stolen $100M Cezanne

Four busted for 2008 art heist

(Newser) - Police in Serbia have recovered a masterpiece by Paul Cezanne four years after it was stolen from a Swiss museum in one of Europe's biggest-ever art heists. Four men were arrested as they tried to sell Boy in the Red Vest, which was worth more than $100 million when... More »

Stolen Masterpieces 'Crushed by Garbage Truck'

Paris cops reveal fruits of art heist probe

(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... More »

Rembrandt Lifted From LA Hotel

Drawing stolen while curator was distracted

(Newser) - A small pen-and-ink drawing by Rembrandt was stolen from a California Ritz-Carlton Saturday night in what detectives are calling a "well-thought-out and well-planned theft." The Judgment, an 11-by-6-inch drawing worth more than $250,000, was on display at the Marina del Rey hotel during an exhibit for potential... More »

Recovered $50M Van Gogh Actually ... Still Missing

'Poppy Flowers' was taken from museum in Egypt

(Newser) - Despite reports of a quick recovery , a $50 million Vincent van Gogh painting is still missing from Egypt's Mahmoud Khalil Museum. The minister of culture said police confiscated the artwork, known as Poppy Flowers or Vase With Flowers, at an airport in Cairo from an Italian couple just hours after... More »

Cops Quickly Recover Stolen $50M Van Gogh

'Poppy Flowers' was taken from museum in Egypt

(Newser) - A $50 million painting by Vincent van Gogh has gone missing from a museum in Cairo, and it's not the first time. Police in Egypt have put airports and seaports on alert for the artwork, which goes by Poppy Flowers or Vase With Flowers. It's not clear how thieves got... More »

The 20th Century's Biggest Art Heists

Even the Mona Lisa was lifted once

(Newser) - Yesterday’s massive theft from the Paris Museum of Modern Art is already being called the “heist of the century,” although we have a few years yet to see how it holds up. The Independent looked over the 20th century and compiled a list of 10 major art... More »

Why We Love Gutsy Art Heists

Thefts of masterpieces just classier than other crimes

(Newser) - Sure, it was a tragic loss when a thief made off with a priceless haul of Picasso, Matisse, and Braque paintings yesterday. But it was also a pretty great story, Paul Farhi writes in the Washington Post . Big art heists "aren't like ordinary crimes, which are dreary and depressing,... More »

Paris Heist Museum's Alarm Was On the Fritz

System 'partially malfunctioning' since March

(Newser) - So how does a lone thief manage to steal five masterpieces from a museum? It doesn't help when the alarm isn't working. The mayor of Paris says one of the systems at the Museum of Modern Art had been "partially malfunctioning" since March, reports ABC News of Australia . The... More »

Art Stolen From Kate Moss Mansion as She Slept

Cops nab man, 24

(Newser) - A $115,000 Banksy portrait and other art work was stolen from model Kate Moss' $10 million London mansion as she and her family slept. A 24-year-old man has been arrested in the theft, though police did not reveal if the art was recovered. Moss, 36, was staying in the... More »

Picasso, Matisse Stolen in $635M Paris Heist

Paris Museum of Modern Art finds 5 masterpieces missing

(Newser) - Five paintings—including masterpieces by Matisse and Picasso—were reported missing from the Paris Museum of Modern Art this morning, the AP reports. Staff discovered that a window and padlock had been broken, and security footage shows a person climbing in through the window. The works are worth an estimated... More »

Missing Picasso Found in Iraq?! Probably Not.

The Naked Woman likely not missing, nor a Picasso, say experts

(Newser) - Iraqi security forces have secured a purported Pablo Picasso painting believed stolen from a Kuwaiti museum during the 1990 invasion, the Times of London reports. Only it’s probably not a Picasso. “It bears absolutely no relation to any Picasso that I can think of,” says one expert.... More »

Picasso Sketchbook Worth $16M Stolen in Paris

(Newser) - Thieves stole a sketchbook containing 33 Pablo Picasso drawings from the Picasso Museum in Paris, the Daily Mail reports. The security system was somehow disabled and there was no sign of forced entry. The theft occurred sometime last night or early today and resembles the 2007 robbery of the home... More »

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