Masked Thieves Steal Masterpieces Worth $16 Million From Verona Museum

Investigators think an art collector may be behind the heist.

Image: Courtesy Il Museo di Castelvecchio.

Three masked thieves entered the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona, Italy last night  and stole 17 paintings worth €15 million ($16 million), according to the Guardian and Corriere Della Sera.

The enterprising trio took a guard and cashier hostage before stealing works by Peter Paul Rubens, Andrea Mantegna, Giovanni Francesco Caroto, Hans de Jode, and Jacopo and Domenico Tintoretto, and other Old Masters.

Authorities told the Telegraph that the robbery may have been “stolen to order by a private collector.”

“They were professionals; they knew what to take and they knew the museum” Verona’s mayor Flavio Tosi said in a statement. “Someone sent them, they were skilled, they knew exactly where they were going.”

Jacopo Tintoretto's <em>The Judgement of Solomon</em> was also stolen from the Castelveccio. <br>Image: via</br>

Jacopo Tintoretto’s The Judgement of Solomon was also stolen from the Castelveccio.
Image: via

Portrait of a Lady by Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens and Male Portrait by Italian artist Jacopo Tintoretto were among 11 masterworks stolen by the savvy thieves.

The Castelvecchio Museum is a renovated castle in Verona that holds a large collection of Italian and European works, including early Christian artwork, 10th to 14th century sculpture, medieval armor, and paintings from the 14th to 18th centuries. It is equipped with 48 security cameras; the museum gave local police footage of the evening’s activities.

This theft comes in the wake of a rash of robberies at European institutions; in August, thieves made off with three paintings at Milan’s Sforza Castle, and two men allegedly stole an Auguste Rodin bust worth $300,000 from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum in Copenhagen in broad daylight. In July, a man allegedly stole a £40,000 ($63,000) Elisabeth Frink statue by placing it under his arm and simply walking out of a London gallery.

artnet News reached out to the Castelvecchio Museum for more information, but did not receive a response by time of publication.

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