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Art heist in the Netherlands

October 16, 2012

Several priceless paintings have been stolen from the Kunsthal museum in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. With the robbers still at large, the police have launched an investigation into the heist.

"Tete d'Arlequin" by Pablo Picasso dpa
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Seven masterpieces were stolen from Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum, Dutch police said Tuesday.

"On Tuesday morning seven artworks were stolen from the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. In consultation with the owners the police can now release their photos," police said in a statement.

"A major investigation is under way and forensics are at the scene," a police spokeswoman told AFP. "We're investigating how they got access, what time it happened and who did it."

The stolen pieces were from the private Triton Foundation collection of 150 works of art that had been on public display to celebrate the museum's 20-year anniversary.

The snatched paintings include Pablo Picasso's "Tete d'Arlequin", Paul Gauguin's "Femme Devant une Fenetre Ouverte, dite La Fiancee" and Henri Matisse's "La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune."

Kunsthal will be closed all day on Tuesday, according to a statement posted on the museum's website.

cg/sej (dpa, AP, AFP)