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European Journal

Romania / The Netherlands: Village Of Thieves

The people accused of stealing works by world-famous artists last year in Rotterdam are now on trial in Bucharest. In the suspects' home village in eastern Romania just about everyone knows them.

Watch video 06:29

In the Netherlands, it was the art theft of the century. In just two minutes, the robbers stole paintings by Matisse, Monet and Picasso from a special exhibition at the Rotterdam Kunsthal. But afterwards police say the thieves couldn't sell the artworks - so they burned at least some of them, in an attempt to hide evidence of the crime. Regardless of how the trial turns out, a Romanian production company has purchased the rights to make a movie about the crime. Residents of the suspects' home village, Carcaliu, say the group’s members were well-known to them. The stolen artworks are still missing - but it's not yet clear whether all of them were destroyed.