AMSTERDAM (AP) — Several paintings have been stolen from a museum in the Dutch city of Rotterdam that was exhibiting works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Vincent van Gogh.
State news agency NOS said a Matisse painting called "The Reading Girl" was taken during the heist, which according to the police took place late Monday, or in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Mariette Maaskant of the Kunsthal museum said on national radio that the paintings taken were of "considerable value," but she didn't specify what had been stolen. She said the paintings taken belonged to the private Triton Foundation.
The bulk of the foundation's collection went on display for the first time as a single exhibition last week, one of two exhibitions arranged in honor of the Kunsthal's 20th anniversary. The museum is a display space that has no permanent collection of its own — the name means "art gallery" in Dutch.
The Triton Foundation is a collection of avant-garde art, and the Kunsthal exhibition was showing its works by more than 150 famed artists, including Alexander Calder, Paul Cezanne, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Edgar Degas, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Rene Magritte, Claude Monet, August Rodin, and Andy Warhol, among others.
Its curators aim to have the works on display for the public, and pieces have been shown in the past. However, the current presentation was the first time the entire collection had been exhibited together.
In a statement, the museum's chairman Willem van Hassel said the museum will be closed Tuesday, and he referred all questions to the police.
Police spokesman Roland Ekkers declined to give more details as the investigation was getting under way.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.