Ken’s Korner: Thieves steal artwork worth $100 million+
News & Views from the World of Antiques & Collectibles
By Ken Hall
Thieves working quickly and using brute force stole seven paintings collectively worth over $100 million from a museum in the Netherlands. Works by Matisse (shown), Picasso, Gauguin, Monet and others were ripped from the walls of the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam, which only used motion sensors and cameras – no human guards – for security. The thieves entered through an emergency exit behind the building that connects directly to the main exhibition hall, with the paintings hanging a few feet away.
It’s nearly impossible to sell paintings of such renown on the open market, especially now that the thefts have been posted on the Art Loss Registry and virtually every museum in the world has been notified. But the crooks still have options. They can try to exact a ransom from the owners, the museum or the insurers; or, they can fence the paintings on the criminal market (but only for a fraction of their true worth). The paintings were being exhibited publicly for the first time ever, by the private Triton Foundation collection.