$300,000 Rodin Bust Stolen From Danish Museum in Broad Daylight

Danish police are on the hunt for the two men.

Auguste Rodin, The Man with the Broken Nose (1863). Photo: Scanpix.
Auguste Rodin, The Man with the Broken Nose (1863). Photo: Scanpix.
Auguste Rodin, The Man with the Broken Nose (1863). Photo: Scanpix.

Auguste Rodin, The Man with the Broken Nose (1863). Photo: Scanpix.

Danish police today announced that they are on the hunt for two suspects who robbed a Copenhagen museum in broad daylight and made off with a bronze bust by sculptor Auguste Rodin, reportedly worth as much as €270,000 ($300,000).

The theft took place on July 16 at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum in Copenhagen, and only took the two men, who were posing as tourists, 12 minutes to pull off, reports the Danish newspaper Politiken.

The robbers removed the bust from its pedestal, slipped it into a paper bag, and walked off.

Security footage from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum shows the thieves. Photo; Copenhagen police.

Security footage from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum shows the suspects.
Photo; Copenhagen police.

The bust, The Man with the Broken Nose (1863), is thought to depict an elderly Parisian workman, and is one of the artist’s early works. The Glyptotek’s bust was one of many casts the artist made of the clay original. The Musée Rodin in Paris has a version done in marble.

“It’s terrible. We lost an important work in the collection,” Glyptotek director Flemming Friborg told Politiken.

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum, Copenhagen. Photo: Brian Bergmann.

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum, Copenhagen.
Photo: Brian Bergmann.

The brazen robbers aren’t the first to stage a daytime heist: a man tucked a £40,000 (about $63,000) Elisabeth Frink statue under his arm and walked out of a London gallery in July, while thieves made off with three paintings at Milan’s Sforza Castle one day this past August.

The The Man with the Broken Nose has been with the Copenhagen museum for 95 years. According to Politiken, international auction houses in London appraised the statue at $300,000 this past year.

Security footage from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum shows the thieves. Photo; Copenhagen police.

Security footage from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum shows the thieves.
Photo; Copenhagen police.

Police have released security footage from the Glyptotek that shows two men of average build and between five foot seven and five foot nine, stealing the statue.

“The perpetrators visited the museum to explore the premises about a week before the theft, and they must have known what they were stealing,” said police spokesman Ove Randrup to Politiken. Authorities from Interpol and Europol are investigating the case, under suspicion that it was an internationally-organized operation.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t take 24 years to track down the stolen artwork this time around.

Related Stories:

FBI Offers $20,000 Reward for Stolen N.C. Wyeth Paintings With Reality TV Spin

FBI Releases Security Footage of Possible “Dry Run” Before Gardner Museum Heist

Paris’s Musée Rodin Gets a Much-Needed Facelift

French Court Delivers Verdict on Rodin Case


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