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On Tuesday, August 13, 2013 a Bucharest court adjourned the trial of six Romanians charged with stealing seven paintings from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam. Immediately following opening proceedings, the court president postponed the trial to September 10th, allowing more time for legal issues, such as bail requests, to be examined. Although short, the suspects’ court appearance was not uneventful.

Shortly before the hearing opened, Ragu Dogaru’s lawyer offered on behalf of his client to return five of the stolen works in return for being tried in the Netherlands rather than Romania where punishments for robbery are more severe. Earlier this year rumors began to circulate that Dogaru’s mother, Olga, had incinerated the stolen paintings in her stove in an attempt to protect her son. While it has not been confirmed that Dogaru is actually in possession of any of the masterpieces, his offer could suggest that five of the works are still intact.

Last October, the thieves 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. The works were on loan from the Triton Foundation to celebrate the Kunsthal Museum’s 20th anniversary.

The total value of the haul, which is being called the “theft of the century” in the Netherlands, is $24 million according to prosecutors. Despite their high value and incredible importance, none of the paintings were equipped with alarms.

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