At Trial, Co-Defendant Claims He Tossed $100 Million in Stolen Art

A 1906 pastoral scene by Matisse stolen from the Modern Art Museum in Paris on May 20, 2010.
A 1906 pastoral scene by Matisse stolen from the Modern Art Museum in Paris on May 20, 2010.
(Interpol)
  • “Nature morte au chandelier” by Fernand Léger, 1922, dimensions 116 x 80 cm

    “Nature morte au chandelier” by Fernand Léger, 1922, dimensions 116 x 80 cm

    Interpol

Five paintings by the likes of Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani, Léger and Braque were stolen from the Museum of Modern Art in Paris almost seven years ago. A trial began Monday for three co-defendants in the 2010 heist, one of the biggest art thefts in history.

Yonathan Birn tearfully claimed that he threw the over $100 million in modern art masterpieces in the trash. Main suspect Vjeran Tomic, dubbed “the Spider-Man” by French news media for his stealth climbing into the museum for the theft, is convinced Birn is "too smart" to have the tossed the artwork. Investigators also believe that Birn took the paintings out of France.

61-year-old antiques dealer Jean-Michel Corvez is the third co-defendant. He says he just wanted the Léger, and was surprised by Tomic's taking of the other artworks, thus he brought in Birn, a watch repairman, to disperse of them. The trio faces 10 to 20 years of prison time for the theft.

Among the missing artworks: Fernand Leger's "Still Life With Candlestick," Picasso's "Dove With Green Peas," Matisse's "Pastoral," Braque's "The Olive Tree Near Estaque," and Modigliani's "Woman With a Fan."

More News Feed Headlines

Bild mit weissen Linien by Wassily Kandinsky

Kandinsky Works Break Artist Record Twice in London Sale

  • June 22, 2017 16:50

Bloomberg reports: Wassily Kandinsky's 1913 canvas “Bild mit Weissen Linien (Painting With White ...

Read More

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art presents The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology, through Sept.  3.  Mark Klett (b.  1952) Contemplating the view at Muley Point, Utah 1994, 1994.  Polaroid Type 55 negative.

ARTFIXdaily Closed for Maintenance, June 5-9

  • June 04, 2017 22:34

ARTFIXdaily will be closed for maintenance from June 5 to 9. E-newsletter service resumes on ...

Read More

Renoir, La Maison d’Essoyes (1906).  Private Collection.

Restored Renoir Home Will Open to the Public in June

  • May 24, 2017 14:38

A family home of French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir will open to the public on June 3 ...

Read More

Military man and his daughter looking at art at San Antonio Museum of Art, in the program Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s service members.

Trump's Official Budget Proposal Eliminates NEA

  • May 23, 2017 15:16

Similar to a "blueprint" set forth in March, President Donald Trump's official 2018 budget ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire