Major Art Theft at Dutch Museum: Monets, Matisse, and More Missing

Detail of Matisse's "Reading Girl in White and Yellow," 1919, stolen from the Triton Foundation Collection during a special exhibition at the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Detail of Matisse's "Reading Girl in White and Yellow," 1919, stolen from the Triton Foundation Collection during a special exhibition at the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Seven paintings by modern masters were brazenly stolen from Rotterdam's Kunsthal Museum in a pre-dawn heist on Tuesday. The massive take is valued at about €309m, and the artworks may be headed to a criminal underground as collateral or held as ransom.

Among the missing are Gauguin's Girl in Front of Open Window; Picasso's 1971 Harlequin Head; Lucian Freud's Woman with Eyes Closed; Matisse's Reading Girl in White and Yellow; Monet's Waterloo Bridge, London, and Charing Cross Bridge, London; and Meyer De Haan's Self-Portrait.

The Kunsthal was showing the works in a special exhibition to mark its 20th anniversary, titled "Avant-Gardes." The exhibition was scheduled to run through January 20 and consisted of 150 works in all from the Triton Foundation Collection, owned by the Cordia family, one of the wealthiest families in the Netherlands.

Family head Willem Cordia, an oil-shipping-textile magnate, built a stunning private collection of 250 artworks over the course of 20 years.

An alarm was triggered at the museum, but the thieves were gone before police arrived just five minutes later.

Art theft losses come to about $6 billion per year, reports the FBI.

More News Feed Headlines

Portrait of Anne Vallayer-Coster, by Alexander Roslin 1783.  Now part of the Crocker Art Museum collections.

Crocker Art Museum Acquires Portrait of 18th-c. French Artist Anne Vallayer-Coster

  • August 27, 2015 12:04

Among 400 new acquisitions last year to the Crocker Art Museum collections is a significant ...

Read More

Mark Rothko’s No.  6 (Violet, Green and Red)

Singapore Unfreezes Assets of Sued Art Dealer Yves Bouvier

  • August 25, 2015 22:48

In an August 21 order, the Singapore High Court  lifted a freeze on the assets of the Swiss "king ...

Read More

Still from footage of the boy breaking a Paolo Porpora floral still-life.  Via YouTube

Museum Mishaps: Kids Accidentally Break Baroque Painting, 2,000-Year-Old Vase in Separate Incidents

  • August 25, 2015 22:48

Two kids had their worst museum visits ever this week. A 12-year-old boy on a school field trip ...

Read More

250-lb.Red Ball on the loose.  Via Instagram user Jeremy 419

Giant Red Ball Rolls Away From Toledo Museum of Art Installation

  • August 24, 2015 22:00

A 15-foot-tall, 250-pound inflated ball, sponsored by the Toledo Museum of Art, broke free of ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

ArtfixDaily Artwire