Theft at the National Gallery, Athens

Posted on: January 10th, 2012

The National Gallery in Athens was broken into early on Monday morning, several works were stripped from their frames and have now been identified. The works include a female cubist portrait by Pablo Picasso, dated 1934, a gift to the gallery from the 1940’s, a religious drawing by the 16th century artist Guglielmo Caccia. The third work was a painting by Piet Mondrian of a riverside windmill. An attempt was also made on a fourth painting by Mondrian, but was abandoned during the retreat.

The gallery’s alarm was activated, but the guard on duty arrived only in time to see an unknown man running from the building. Police believe the heist was carefully planned with the thieves intentionally setting off alarms on several occasions since Sunday evening without entering , prompting security to disable at least one alarm. The Monday heist took a total of seven minutes and has raised questions about the effectiveness of the National Gallery’s security. Hopefully the works are quickly ans safely recovered.