Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 13:30
Court sends Romanian art thieves to jail
On Tuesday, a Romanian court sent two thieves who stole paintings from a Dutch museum to jail for six years and eight months. A district court in Bucharest sentenced Radu Dogaru and Eugen Darie for the theft of seven paintings from Kunsthal Museum in Netherlands in October 2012, The Associated Press reports. The sentences can be appealed. Dogaru and Darie will also pay $1,830 in court costs. They told the court that they believed they were stealing fakes. In their depositions to prosecutors, the thieves 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. The works have never been found. The trial will continue for Olga, who is charged with destroying the works. In October, Dogaru threatened to sue the Dutch museum for inadequate security arrangements. Dutch authorities admitted that none of the paintings was equipped with an alarm despite an estimated value of €18-million, or $24 million. Three others are also on trial, and their court case will resume on December 3. One of them has already pleaded guilty, but his trial continues, the AP said. The Triton Foundation, which owned the seven paintings that hung in Kunsthal Museum, has been paid €18 million, or $23.8 million. The stolen paintings included Pablo Picasso's 1971 "Harlequin Head," Claude Monet's 1901 "Waterloo Bridge, London," Henri Matisse's 1919 "Reading Girl in White and Yellow" and Paul Gauguin's 1898 "Girl in Front of Open Window," according to the news agency.