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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Major Art Theft in Paris

Several paintings were discovered stolen from the Paris Museum of Modern Art during the morning of May 20, 2010. They are of inestimable cultural and monetary value.

When a major theft such as this one occurs, it is reasonable for investigators to presume that the crime is part of a broader plan. For instance, paintings can be used as collateral for weapons purchases or as payment for sizeable drug buys. Because it is more portable and discreet to carry a canvas worth millions through an airport rather than carrying the equivalent in cash, valuable artwork can be used to move large amounts of cash without being detected. It is also reasonable for the police to assume, in the first instance, that information or assistance may have been provided by someone on the inside of the institution. As evidence develops, the police can rule in or rule out these suspicions.

I have included a list below of the stolen paintings, and links to their images on the web. If you spot any of these artworks or have any information related to the theft, you can contact your local INTERPOL central bureau. In the United States you can report any information to the FBI via the internet at https://tips.fbi.gov.

1. "Pigeon with the Peas" by Pablo Picasso news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//100520/ids_photos_wl/r2288127354.jpg/

2. "Pastoral" by Henri Matisse
www.the-artfile.nl/gallery/artists/matisse/pastorale.jpg

3. "Olive Tree near Estaque" by Georges Braque
http://d.yimg.com/a/p/rids/20100520/i/r3355612611.jpg

4. "Woman with a Fan" by Amedeo Modigliani
http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//100520/ids_photos_wl/r2748639951.jpg/

5. "Still Life with Chandeliers" by Fernand Leger
no image found