Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Four Paintings Stolen from Bührle Collection

1st NW Quadrant\The Approval Matrix: Week of Feb. 25, 2008

The E. G. Bührle Collection room in Zurich that held the four paintings.

Three men wearing ski masks walked into a private museum here in daylight, grabbed four 19th-century masterpieces, tossed them into a van and sped off, pulling off one of the largest and most audacious art robberies of all time. It was the second multimillion-dollar art heist in Switzerland in less than a week.

Switzerland was stunned, not just by the loss of half a dozen masterpieces by the likes of Picasso and Monet but, based on police reports emerging Monday, by the seeming ease with which they disappeared.

On Sunday, the three men who entered the E. G. Bührle Collection here took four paintings — a Cézanne, a Degas, a van Gogh and a Monet together worth an estimated $163 million — but not the most valuable works in the collection. The four just happened to be hanging in the same room. -- New York Times

"Poppies near Vétheuil" (1879), by Claude Monet.

"Boy in the Red Waistcoat" (1888), by Paul Cezanne.

"Blossoming Chestnut Branches" (1890), by Vincent van Gogh.

"Count Lepic and his Daughters" (1871), by Edgar Degas.

(Photos courtesy of Keystone, via Associated Press, and Getty Images)

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