Thieves steal art worth $163 million
Three masked men robbed a Zurich museum of 4 paintings Sunday, according to the Star Tribune. The E.G. Buehrle Collection is one of Europe's finest private museums police said, and the robbers were able to make off with paintings by Cezanne, Degas, van Gogh and Monet for a net worth of $163 million dollars. It was the largest art robbery in Switzerland's history, and is being compared to the theft of the Munch Museum in Norway in 2004.
A little after closing Sunday evening 3 men entered the museum wearing dark clothes and masks. One used a pistol to force personnel to the floor while the other two collected the paintings, according to police. Afterwards they loaded the paintings into a white van and drove off.
A reward of $90,000 is being offered for any information leading to the recovery of the paintings. Police said that the theft of iconic pieces, such as the ones stolen Sunday, are rare because they are harder to sell and the intense police work that follows. Lukas Gloor, the museum's director, said that although the robbers took 4 important paintings they appeared to take the first four the saw and left even more valuable ones behind. Gloor said that as soon as the paintings were touched a security system went off and police were notified. Gloor was also happy the robbery didn't turn violent. "We are happy that no employees or visitors were hurt," Gloor said.