Artworks Worth $1.1 Million Stolen From Markus Lüpertz’s Potsdam Studio
The studio had already been targeted in March.
Thieves broke into the studio of German artist Markus Lüpertz in Potsdam, outside Berlin, over the weekend and stole around 30 paintings, drawings, and prints.
Police said the loss amounted to several hundred thousand euros. However, the artist himself said the combined value of the stolen works could reach €1 million ($1.1 million).
The burglars are believed to have smashed a window to gain access to the 74-year-old artist’s workplace in the southwestern outskirts of Berlin, RBB reported.
“So far, we know a window was opened with the use of force, then several doors within the inner space were forcibly opened, and then the artworks were transported away,” police spokesperson Ingrid Schwarz told RBB.
Lüpertz was working in his studio on Saturday until around 6:30 p.m., leading police to estimate that the break-in occurred between 7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Monday, when the artist’s assistant Alexander Kynch contacted police to report the theft.
The artist’s spokesman, Claus Otterbein told Bild: “The thieves broke open several locks, in some cases using skeleton keys, and drove into the studio atrium with a vehicle to load the works.”
Otterbein revealed that the thieves took 15 partly unfinished oil paintings measuring 80 x 100 cm. The robbers also took 15 framed sketches of the same size, from a series of works currently on view at Lüpertz’s exhibition at Berlin’s Bode Museum, as well as one or two small bronze sculptures.
“The works were not yet signed,” Lüpertz’s spokesman told Bild. However, a contradictory report by local paper Berliner Morgenpost—citing police sources—claimed that all works were signed with the artist’s initials M.L.
Lupertz’s studio was previously targeted in a robbery attempt in March. The artist was in his studio at the time and was able to scare off the thieves.
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