Breaking News – $1.1 million Rene Magritte painting stolen from Belgian museum

September 24th, 2009

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Olympia, Rene Magritte (1948). Via Telegraph.co.uk

This morning two men stole an oil painting by the Belgian Surrealist Rene Magritte with an estimated street value of $1.1 million. The painting, Olympia (1948), was part of an appointment-only exhibition at The Rene Magritte Museum, Brussels.

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Journalists gather outside the Magritte Museum in Jette, Brussels. Via NYTimes

It has been reported that the two men, one armed with a pistol, entered the museum shortly after it opened at 10 am. Brussels city police spokesman, John Berckmans announced today that one thief entered the building first after ringing the doorbell, “and as soon as he came in he threatened personnel with a weapon.” Museum staff, along with two tourists – a Japanese couple – were forced to lie on the ground by the first thief, while his accomplice took the painting from the wall.

Berckmans has added “The investigation is continuing but we have found no trace of the culprits.”

Related Links:
Rene Magritte Museum Homepage [MagritteMuseum.be]
Magritte painting stolen at gunpoint [Guardian.co.uk]
Magritte painting stolen [NYTimes]
Armed thieves steal Magritte work [BBC News]