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Spanish Thieves Steal Van Containing 20 Pieces of Art Including Works by Picasso
A steel sculpture, valuated at 800,000 Euros, by Spanish artist Eduardo Chillida (1924-2002). A van containing some 20 artworks, including Chillida's steel sculpture, has been stolen at a factory premises in Getafe on Madrid's outskirts on 27 November 2010, after returning from Germany, where they had been on display at the Stephan Ropke gallery in Cologne. The artworks by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Fernando Botero, Antoni Tapies, among others, were reportedly valuated at five million Euros. EPA/NIEVES FERNANDEZ GALLERY.

By: Cirian Giles, Associated Press

MADRID (AP).- Three hooded thieves stole a truck containing 28 pieces of art including works by Picasso, Colombian artist Fernando Botero and Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida, Spanish police said Thursday.

A police statement said the truck was taken from a warehouse near the town of Getafe on Madrid's southern outskirts last Saturday. Officers went to the warehouse after an alarm sounded and found the door of the building had been forced open. On arrival, the owner told police that the truck was missing.

A police official said security camera recordings showed the robbery was carried out by three hooded persons and that the keys had been left inside the truck. He said the truck was not armored.

The official spoke condition of anonymity in line with department rules.

Police found the vehicle empty Tuesday in the nearby area of Alcorcon, southwest of the capital.

The police statement said the stolen work included pieces by Picasso, Botero, Chillida, as well as by Spanish artists Gonzalo Gonzalez, Julio Gonzalez and Antonio Saura and Slovenia's Cveto Marsic.

Police provided no details of the works but El Mundo daily and other media said it included a Picasso drawing, and paintings, lithographs and sculptures from the other artists.

Police estimated the value of the work to be euro2.7 million. Spanish news reports placed the value at euro5 million ($6.6 million), adding that several of the pieces were not insured.

The works belonged to six galleries in Madrid, Barcelona and Cologne, Germany. They had just come back from being on exhibit in Germany.

Crisostomo, the Spanish transport company responsible for the vehicle, declined to comment on the theft.

David Fernandez director of the Juan Gris gallery in Madrid said they had a sculpture and a collage by Chillida stolen in the theft.

"It gave us a big fright because nothing like this has ever happened to us," he told Spanish National Radio. "We're upset because they are important pieces and irreplaceable."


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Picasso | El Mundo | Eduardo Chillida | Fernando Botero |


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