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Oh No! Stolen Picasso and Other Paintings Potentially Burned to Ash

This is why we can't have nice things.

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Theft in the real world isn’t all Thomas Crowne and Daniel Ocean. It actually tends to be kind of terrible. For instance, one of the Netherlands’ biggest art thefts in recent history might have come to a close with a painting each by Picasso, Matisse, Gauguin, de Haan, and Freud — as well as two Monets — burned to ash.

The stolen paintings, worth many millions of dollars, have been missing since October. They were being housed at the Kunsthal gallery, and were originally part of a collection from the Triton Foundation. Radu Dogaru is one of three suspects who has been charged with the crime. According to the Guardian, his mother, Olga Dogaru, reportedly buried the art first in an abandoned house and then a cemetery after her son’s arrest.

In an effort to protect him, she claims to have burned the missing paintings last February to keep the police from finding them. It is still possible (let’s all hope) that she’s simply lying. Romania’s National History Museum is conducting tests on the ashes collected in Dogaru’s stove, but results will take some time.

So allow me to end with a plea: Mother’s of big-time art thieves, please do not burn treasured, irreplaceable paintings to keep your children from going to jail. Hide them better, sell them, give them back and hope for karma to sort things out — I don’t much care. Do whatever you want with them, but please avoid destroying art.

(via The Guardian, images via Wikipedia)

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