Picasso stolen from Greek museum

Arts and CultureArtTheftGreeceAthens (Greece)Piet MondrianNazi Party

Thieves broke into the largest art museum in Greece Monday and stole three priceless works of art-- including a Pablo Picasso painting.

That painting, "Woman's Head," was presented to the Greek people in 1946 to commemorate their resistance against Nazi Germany.

The break-in at the National Art Gallery in Athens occurred after the alarm had been triggered several times over the last few days. Investigators theorize these false alarms were attempts by the thieves to trick security guards into shutting off the alarm system, assuming it was broken.

A 1905 painting of a riverside windmill by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian was also stolen; along with a sketch of St. Diego by Renaissance master Il Moncalvo. A fourth painting, also by Mondrian, was grabbed but left behind after the burglar (or burglars) triggered a sensor.

Art theft and trafficking is a $6-billion business each year, according to the FBI, and less than 10% of stolen works are ever recovered.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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