€250,000 Reward for Information on Austrian Art Heist

Oskar Kokoschka Zigeunermaedchen. Photo: Vienna Police

Last month brazen art thieves stole a collection of 72 paintings by renowned Austrian artists such as Oskar Kokoschka, Emil Beischläger, and Alfons Walde from a private villa in the Austrian capital, Vienna (see “71 Paintings Stolen From Austrian Villa“). The value of the collection has been estimated at €2 million ($2.5 million). The villa’s 73-year-old owner discovered that the works were missing after returning from a 10 day holiday.

Austrian Federal Criminal Police were put in charge of the investigation. And on Tuesday, they announced that a €250,000 ($315,000) reward has been made available by an anonymous donor for information leading to the undamaged return of the paintings. For information leading to the partial recovery of the paintings, a portion of the money will be awarded. The statement notes that the Republic of Austria is not liable for paying out the reward and would only be taking a mediatory, coordinating function.

In the press release, Police spokesman Mario Hejl revealed that a further painting has been added to the list of missing artworks, increasing the initially-reported total to 72. Hejl also announced that Interpol has been alerted of the art heist at behest of the Austrian Federal Criminal Police.




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