Photo of painting stolen in 2012 Rotterdam heist circulating in underworld: report

The painting Woman with Eyes Closed by British artist Lucian Freud, which was stolen from the Rotterdam Kunsthal in 2012, still seems to be circulating in the criminal underworld, art detective Arthur Brand said to NU.nl based on a photo he saw of the painting.

A total of seven artworks, including works by Picasso and Monet, were stolen from the Kunsthal in the 2012 heist. The police quickly managed to arrest the suspects in Romania, after which it was assumed that the stolen artworks were all destroyed - the mother of one of the suspects burned them in her fireplace. 

But a photo that Brand received a year ago shows the Freud painting along with a newspaper from October 2018. "On the basis of this photo, it is of course difficult to determine whether or not it is a forgery", Brand stressed. "But I have to say that the source has proven to be very reliable so far. I cannot say which cases he has worked on before, but in any case he has a track record of 100 percent."

"The police did an excellent job at the time", Brand said to NU.nl. "They quickly got their sites on those boys. But there have also been rumors for years that four pieces were already sold before they arrived in Romania, so that the mother only burned three paintings. The remaining works would be the two Monets, the Picasso and the work of Lucian Freud."

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