Romanians Confess Stealing Paintings in Netherlands

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No image availableNL Times

Three Romanians have admitted stealing the multimillion-dollar paintings from the Kunsthal Museum in Netherlands and said the museum’s security was poor and robbery was too easy.

In a hearing Oct. 22, Radu Dogaru, Alexandru Bitu and Eugen Darie told a Bucharest Court that they stole seven paintings, including works by Picasso, Monet and Matisse, from a Dutch museum in October 2012. They were arrested in January and charged with the theft and of bringing the paintings into Romania, The Associated Press reported.

The Concert by Johannes Vermeer / Wikipedia

In their depositions to prosecutors, the suspects said they brought the paintings to Romania and tried to sell them on the black market. They then gave paintings to Dogaru's mother Olga Dogaru, who told investigators she burned the paintings, but later denied it.

In addition, AFP reported that chief suspect Radu Dogaru has threatened to sue the Dutch museum for inadequate security arrangements.

"I could not imagine that a museum would exhibit such valuable works with so little security", Dogaru told the court on Oct. 22.

According to Dutch authorities, none of the paintings was equipped with an alarm despite an estimated value of €18-million, or $24 million.

The next hearing in the case is on Nov. 19.