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Monet and Picasso among art theft

October 17 2012, 09:35

A Dutch police officer investigates the Kunsthal museum from where major paintings have been stolen. Photograph: Robin Van Lonkhuijsen/ReutersAMSTERDAM.  October 17. Paintings by artists including Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Gauguin and Freud have been stolen from a museum in Rotterdam.

Police in the Netherlands said the works were taken from the Kunsthal Museum early on Tuesday morning.

The museum is showing works from the Triton Foundation as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, according to BBC.

The paintings include Monet's Waterloo Bridge, Picasso's Tete d'Arlequin, Matisse's La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune and Freud's Woman with Eyes Closed.

Museum spokeswoman Patricia Wessels told the AFP news agency that police were alerted during the night when the alarm went off but that the thief, or thieves, had left the premises by the time police arrived.

Dutch police said the robbery took place at around 03:00 AM (02:00 BST).

Roland Ekkers from Rotterdam Police said: "The alarm system in the Kunsthal is supposed to be state of the art. We've got no reason to believe that it's not but somehow the people responsible for this found a way in and a way out."

It is the biggest art theft in the Netherlands since 20 paintings were stolen from Amsterdam's Van Gogh museum in 1991.

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