The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, July 24, 2014


Romanians arrested over Dutch art heist claim innocence; court denied the suspects bail
Doina Lupu, lawyer of Radu Dogaru and Eugen Darie, not seen, is surrounded by the media in Bucharest, Romania, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. Lawyers for three Romanians Mihai Alexandru Bitu, Radu Dogaru and Eugen Darie, charged with stealing valuable paintings from a museum in the Netherlands last year, including works by Picasso, Monet and Matisse say there is insufficient evidence to charge them. AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda.
BUCHAREST (AFP).- Three Romanians arrested last week in connection with the theft of seven masterpieces from a Rotterdam museum, including works by Monet and Picasso, claimed their innocence in court Friday.

The men, charged with conspiracy and aggravated theft, have been linked to at least two of the artworks -- a Matisse and a Gauguin -- which they allegedly tried to sell in Romania.

Their defense lawyers told the court during a bail hearing Friday that they were innocent even though one of them twice visited the museum where the seven masterpieces, estimated at between 100 and 200 million euros ($135 million and $270 million), were stolen.

However, the court denied the suspects bail.

Eugen Darie, dressed in sweatpants and anorak, told the court he visited Rotterdam Kunsthall museum at around the time of the theft last October but never laid eyes on the stolen paintings he and his co-defendants allegedly tried to sell.

"I didn't see the paintings," he said. "I only looked at bronze statues. I am innocent."

Fellow suspect Radu Dogaru also told the court he had nothing to do with the heist, one of the most spectacular in the art world in the last 20 years, even though prosecutors says he was present when two of the works were offered to a Romanian businessman in the presence of an art expert.

Mihai Alexandru Bitu, the third suspect, also denied involvement.

His lawyer, Daniela Dede, told AFP that her client "just received a call from his co-defendant Dogaru who asked him to find a buyer for some objects. He didn't know it was these paintings."

The suspects, all in their 20s, have been detained for questioning since their arrest on January 22. Under Romanian law, they can be held for 29 days.

All three of them have been under investigation for violent offences in the past.

Romania's police chief Petre Toba said Thursday that investigators had evidence leading them to believe that several other people had taken part in the theft.

A person from Moldova is said to have been present when the paintings were offered for sale, one of the defence lawyer told AFP.

Investigators also believe that an Albanian man investigated for murder in Romania may have helped the suspects in The Netherlands, sources close from the investigation told Mediafax news agency.

The heist gripped the Netherlands and the art world as police apparently struggled to piece the crime together, despite putting 25 officers on the case.

Dutch police released grainy security camera footage of the theft, which took place around 3:00 am. The footage showed two apparently young males entering and leaving the museum in central Rotterdam within barely 90 seconds.

The works stolen include Picasso's "Tete d'Arlequin", Monet's "Waterloo Bridge" and Lucian Freud's "Woman with Eyes Closed".




© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse



Today's News

January 26, 2013

First major exhibition to showcase Manet’s portraiture opens at the Royal Academy of Arts

"Impressionism from Monet to Matisse": Columbia Museum of Art opens major Impressionist exhibition

Romanians arrested over Dutch art heist claim innocence; court denied the suspects bail

Landmark Dieter Roth exhibition inaugurates the Hauser & Wirth's new downtown space

"Primrose: Russian Colour Photography" opens at FOAM in Amsterdam

Mid-19th century Russian urn sells for a smashing $152,500 at Bonhams New York

Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928-1945 opens at the Kemper Art Museum

"We Went Back: Photographs from Europe 1933-1956" by Chim on view at the International Center of Photography

Between Extremities: Pace presents works by exceptionally prolific artist Brian Clarke

Walters Art Museum acquires major work by African American artist Richard Seldon Duncanson

Monumental sculptures of iconic New York buildings to emerge along the Park Avenue Malls

New York based artists Sam Moyer & Elaine Cameron-Weir exhibit at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen

Public artist and landscape architect JEFRE completes the largest public art project in San Antonio

Stéphane C. presents his photographs at Pavlov's Dog, Space for Photography

Mike Eruzione's 1980 Miracle on Ice game worn jersey estimated to bring $1+ million

1880 $500 brings $441,250 to top $13.4+ million FUN currency auction

BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai unveils winning designs for competition to rethink busy transportation hu

Exhibition marks the bicentenary of the publication of Scott's epic poem, Rokeby

Bronx Museum presents survey of Joan Semmel's self-portraits from the last decade

New York World & Ancient Coin Auction realizes more than $14 million

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Archaeologists discover Roman 'free choice' cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome

2.- Romanians must pay 18 million euros over Kunsthal Museum Rotterdam art heist

3.- Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi defends cute character as cat turns 40 years old

4.- eBay and Sotheby's partner to bring world class art and collectibles to a global community

5.- Exhibition on Screen returns with new series of films bringing great art to big screens across the globe

6.- Marina Abramović reaches half way point of her '512 Hours' performance at the Serpentine Gallery

7.- The Phillips Collection in Washington introduces a uCurate app for curating on-the-go

8.- United States comic icon Archie Andrews dies saving openly gay character

9.- New feathered predatory fossil, unearthed in China, sheds light on dinosaur flight

10.- Exhibition at Thyssen Bornemisza Museum presents an analysis of the concept of the 'unfinished'



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site