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 »

Sleuth Following 2 Leads in Biggest US Art Heist

The leads have been followed before, but Arthur Brand has a track record

(Newser) - A Dutch art sleuth with an impressive track record says he's following two possible leads in the largest art heist in US history. Arthur Brand thinks a decision last month to double the reward to $10 million for information could prompt the return of 13 works stolen from Boston'... 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 »

Guy Says He Threw $100M Worth of Stolen Art Away

But no one's really buying Yonathan Birn's story

(Newser) - A co-defendant in one of the world's biggest art heists testified in court Monday he destroyed and threw away five art masterpieces worth more than $100 million that were stolen by a thief nicknamed "the spider-man" by French media. Yonathan Birn, accused of receiving stolen goods, was among... More »

17 Stolen Masterpieces Returned Year After Heist

They're back in Italy with only scratches

(Newser) - Seventeen masterpieces valued at $17.7 million were returned to Italy from Ukraine on Wednesday after being stolen by masked, armed robbers from a Verona art museum last year. Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, who traveled to Kiev to retrieve the paintings—which included works by Rubens, Tintoretto, and Mantegna—... 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 »

Pile of Ashes Could Be Remains of Stolen Picasso

...and Matisse, Monet, and 4 more paintings

(Newser) - A Romanian museum is analyzing ashes found in a stove to see if they are the remains of seven paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Monet, and others that were stolen last year from the Netherlands, an official said yesterday. Romania's National History Museum is examining the ashes found at the... 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 »

Thieves Snag 2nd Picasso in France

Lithograph lifted from private collector in Marseilles

(Newser) - Thugs stole a Picasso lithograph and four paintings from a collector's home yesterday in Marseille, on the heels of the $123 million art heist from Paris' Museum of Modern Art. Judicial police said today that two men managed to get past two security gates yesterday at the home of the... 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 »

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