Five masterpieces stolen from Paris Musée d’Art Moderne

The museum reported the overnight theft of five paintings from its collection.

Le pigeon aux petits pois by Picasso

The paintings taken were Le pigeon aux petits pois by Pablo Picasso, La Pastorale by Henri Matisse, L’Olivier Près de l’Estaque by Georges Braque, La Femme a l’Eventail by Amedeo Modigliani and Nature Morte aux Chandeliers by Fernand Léger.

The paintings were valued at €100 million ($123 million). A window had been smashed and CCTV footage showed a masked man taking the paintings.

The thief is claimed to have acted alone. The man cut the paintings from their frames, which he left behind.

The theft is being investigated by the Brigade de Répression du Banditisme specialist unit of the French Police. It is unclear why the alarm systems in the museum failed to detect the robbery, staff only noticing when they arrived at the museum just before 7 am.

The museum was closed today for “technical reasons”. The theft follows the $162 million heist of masterpieces by Cezanne, Degas, Van Gogh and Monet from Zurich museum in February 2008 and could be one of the biggest art thefts in history (by value) and has been described as the “heist of the century”.

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