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Swiss art theft

Armed robbers stole four paintings worth $163 million on Sunday from a collection in Zurich, the BBC reported.

The theft of the four works, by Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, and Cezanne, is considered to be one of the largest art thefts in the last 20 years.

One man entered the gallery Sunday and threatened the guard with a pistol while the other two nabbed the paintings. The paintings were behind glass and an alarm went off as soon as they were touched. Nevertheless, the thieves got away.

The works are so well-known that they would be impossible to sell in the open market, the museum director said.

The FBI estimates that $6 billion in stolen art is sold each year, reports USA Today.

Zurich has a legacy of art thefts: two Picasso paintings were taken from a gallery last week, seven Picassos worh $44 million were stolen in 1994, and 21 paintings worth hundreds of millions of dollars were taken from another Zurich gallery in the late 1980s.