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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 18:10

Art Thief Threatens to Sue Kunsthal Museum

Radu Dogaru, right. Radu Dogaru, right. Bogdan Cristel/REUTERS

Radu Dogaru, the Romanian man who admitted to stealing $24 million worth of art from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, threatened to sue the institution for making the robbery too easy. Dogaru is one of six Romanians on trial for last year’s heist, which shook the art world.

On Tuesday, October 22, Dogaru told the court, “I could not imagine that a museum would exhibit such valuable works with so little security.“ Dogaru’s lawyer, Catalin Dancu, claims that the Kunsthal could be found guilty of negligence since their security system failed, allowing the thieves to make off with the artworks.

Last October, Dogaru and his accomplices made off with Pablo Picasso’s Tete d’Arlequin, Claude Monet’s Waterloo Bridge, London and Charing Cross Bridge, London, Henri Matisse’s La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune, Paul Gauguin’s Femme devant une fenetre ouverte, dite la Fiancee, Meyer de Haan’s Autoportrait, and Lucian Freud’s Woman with Eyes Closed. Following the heist, rumors began to circulate that Dogaru’s mother, Olga, had incinerated the stolen paintings in her stove in an attempt to protect her son. Olga Dogaru later retracted her statement although fragments of oil paintings were found in the ashes in her stove. On Tuesday, Dogaru told the court that, “the paintings were certainly not destroyed. I don’t know where they are but I believe they have been sold.” A separate investigation into the possible destruction of the artwork is underway.

Doguru’s next hearing is due on November 19. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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