Kunsthal theft trial (ctd.)
August 9 2013
More details of the Kunsthal theft case have emerged. Yesterday, experts from Romania's National History Museum (above) gave a presentation on the old nails, pigments and other details found in the ashes of Olga Dogaru's stove. Olga is the mother of one of the accused thieves, who admitted to police that she burnt at least two of the works, though she has since changed her story, and we don't know which ones were really destroyed.
There were also further details of the theft in Rotterdam, where it seems the security response to the alarm going off was pretty woeful (according to Dutch News:
Police [...] alerted by the alarm, carried out an inspection but failed to realise the museum had actually been broken into because the thieves had closed the door behind them.
In addition, security staff wondered if the gaps on the walls of the exhibition were due to paintings being moved. It was only 75 minutes after the alarm went off that officials realised paintings had been stolen, the AD said.
Lawyer Maria Vasii even claims police saw the suspects shortly after the robbery. ‘One officer waved, as if to say "all’s fine boys",’ the lawyer is quoted as saying.
The paper says the thieves were so shocked by their narrow escape they left the paintings in their getaway car on the nearby Coolsingel canal and did not pick them up until the next morning.
The works, including paintings by Picasso and Matisse with a value of some €17m, were not smuggled out of the country for several days.