Drunk German Soccer Fans Steal Emil Nolde Painting Worth Millions

Emil Nolde, Herr und Dame (1910) Via: Sueddeutsche Zeitung

Two students from the southern German town of Erlangen will appear before a court on Tuesday to face charges that they broke into the Germanischen Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg and attempted to steal a painting by German expressionist Emil Nolde, reports the DPA. The pair have been held in pretrial detention since the theft in July of this year.

However, according to the news agency, the 23- and 24-year-old suspects were no professional art thieves. Quite the contrary. The theft followed a rather heavy bout of drinking at a party for the World Cup finale, which the German national team won. The excitement left both with a blood alcohol content of approximately 0.1 percent at the time of their arrest some hours later.

Following the revelry, the pair allegedly went to the Germanischen Nationalmuseum and entered it through a skylight after climbing onto the roof using scaffolding and ladder that they had found at the premises. They then reportedly used their cell phones as a light source to navigate the building’s halls and eventually found their way to Emil Nolde’s Herr und Dame (1910) undetected.

Their luck soon ran out. Due to the painting’s estimated value of one million euros, it was equipped with a silent alarm, which the drunken duo tripped upon pulling it off of the wall. Police responded and were waiting for the two students as they exited the museum, painting in hand.

The stunt could land them with some serious jail time. It’s unclear if either suspect had any idea of the value of the particular work they chose to nab. However, the state prosecutor has suggested that the painting’s importance for the arts will land them a maximum sentence of ten years behind bars.

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