Stolen Masterpieces Worth Millions Feared Burnt By Thief's Mother

Category: Media & Culture / Jul 17, 2013 4:48PM EDT

A Romanian woman has admitted to burning seven stolen masterpieces including works by Monet, Matisse and Picasso.

Local media reported on Wednesday (July 17) that the woman is thought to be the mother of one of the suspected art thieves. She is said to have admitted incinerating the artworks in her stove in order to destroy the evidence.

Seven paintings, thought to be worth tens of millions of dollars, were stolen in October 2012 from Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum.

"We are talking about seven paintings and I can tell you which ones those are. It is a Pablo Picasso, a Henry Mattisse, two Claude Monets, a Paul Gauguin, one Mayer de Haan and a Lucian Freud. Seven paintings of which the images have been released in the last hour,” said a spokesman for Rotterdam Police Department Roland Ekkers.

Thieves made off with the master works in a brazen and meticulously planned operation.

"The alarm system in the Kunsthal was supposed to be state of the art so we have got no reason to believe that it is not. But somehow the people responsible for this found a way in and a way out and they found time to take seven paintings. So that's something that is part of our investigation right now,” said Ekkers.

The works stolen were Picasso's "Tête d'Arlequin", Matisse's "La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune", Monet's "Waterloo Bridge, London" and "Charing Cross Bridge, London", Gauguin's "Femme devant une fenêtre ouverte", De Haan's "Autoportrait" and Freud's "Woman with Eyes Closed".

Staff at Romania’s National History Museum are analyzing the ashes from the stove to determine if the masterpieces have in fact been burned.

Video Credit: Reuters