Officials say a thief stole five paintings worth more than $100 million during a night robbery at a Museum of Modern Art in Paris on Thursday, including major works by Picasso and Mattis, the museum
The paintings disappeared from the Paris Museum of Modern Art earlier Thursday, on the Seine River opposite the Eiffel Tower, one of the most fashionable and popular cities in the French capital --
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delano said in a statement that the museum's alarm system has been broken in some rooms since March 30.
The security system operator ordered spare parts to fix it, but has not received the equipment from the supplier, the statement said.
After spending 15 million euros, the museum reopened in 2006.
$20 million in Canadian dollars)
Security system upgrade for three years.
Paris city hall deputy secretary of culture Michel E Girard said a masked intruder was photographed by a camera.
Girard told reporters that investigators were trying to determine whether the intruder was acting alone and suggested that the robbery was carried out by a very "complex" team or individual.
Three guards were on duty overnight, he said, but "they saw nothing.
According to the Paris prosecutor's office, the intruder cut a padlock on the gate and broke the window of the museum.
The prosecutor's office initially estimated the total value of the five pigments to be as high as 0. 5 billion euros, but later downgraded them to 90 million euros.
The total value, Girard said, was "just under 100 million euros.
He said Picasso's och and Brown cubist oil painting "pea pigeon" is worth about 23 million euros, as well as the pastoral style, the nude oil painting by Henry Mattis on the hillside, about 15 million euros.
The other stolen paintings were the olive trees of George Brack near Estaque;
A woman with fans from Amedeo Modigliani;
There is also the chandelier of Fernand l é ger. Alice Farren-
Bradley of the London art Loss Registry said that, given the estimated value, Paris theft "seems to be one of the largest" art thefts ever, the high profile of artists and museums.
However, she added that the value of the paintings must be confirmed because the value of the paintings is often different for museums and art dealers.
Selling such famous paintings in the open market is "almost impossible," she said, and usually stolen works of art get lower prices on the black market.
"They are often used as collateral to facilitate other transactions involving drugs or weapons," she said . ".
"They are not necessarily bought by some great art lovers.
"While theft is often carefully planned, this is not always the case next --
Selling stolen paintings
That's why they often recover, she said.
Interpol is reminding national bureaus around the world of the theft.
St éphane Thefo, an Interpol expert in the investigation of international art theft, told The Associated Press: "This is a major theft, which is very clear . ".
"These works are of immeasurable value.
He expressed doubt that even if only one person was photographed, one person could escape the theft on his own. Red-and-
The museum is surrounded by white tape. the Paper logo on the museum door shows that the museum has been closed for technical reasons. On a cordoned-
On the balcony behind the museum, police officers wearing blue gloves and masks examined broken windows and empty frames.
The paintings seem to have been carefully removed from the disassembled frame, not sliced.
A security guard at the museum said the paintings were found missing by a night watchman before 7 in the morning. m. local time.
Due to the policy of the museum, the guards were not authorized to be named publicly.
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delano said in a statement that he was "saddened and shocked by the theft, an intolerable attack on Paris's universal cultural heritage.
"Pierre coette de Saint, director of the adjacent Tokyo Museum of Modern Art-
A "fool" known as a thief or thief ".
"You can't do anything about these paintings.
All countries in the world know that no collector is stupid enough to buy a painting, one that he cannot show to other collectors, and the other that he is at risk of sending him to prison, he said on LCI television.
"In general, you will find these paintings," he said . "
"These five paintings can't be sold, so thieves, gentlemen, you fools, give them back to me now.
"Fleming Fribourg, manager of the glytotek Museum in Copenhagen --
Known for Impressionist painting
Known as high theft-
"It's like the death of a family member.