Last Tuesday, October 16, thieves made away with seven borrowed paintings from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, including works by Picasso, Monet, Gauguin, Matisse, and Lucian Freud. The artworks were part of a collection amassed by Willem Cordia, who died in 2011, and were put on exhibit only last week at the Kunsthal, which does not have its own permanent collection.
The stolen paintings span parts of three centuries: Meyer de Haan’s “Self-Portrait” of 1890 and Gauguin’s 1898 “Girl in Front of Open Window”; Monet’s “Waterloo Bridge, London” and “Charing Cross Bridge, London,” both from 1901; Matisse’s 1919 “Reading Girl in White and Yellow” and Picasso’s 1971 “Harlequin Head”; and Freud’s haunting 2002 portrait “Woman With Eyes Closed.”
The theft raises serious concerns about museum security in Europe, as only two years ago, five paintings were stolen from the Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris, including a Picasso and Matisse, with a combined value of $130 million.
For more details, see A Picasso and a Gauguin Are Among 7 Works Stolen from a Dutch Museum