Art Thief Considers Suing Gallery For Lousy Security That Made Stealing Easy

A Romanian man who stole $24 million worth of art work has admitted to his crime. Now the man might sue the art gallery that housed the paintings by Gauguin, Monet, and Picasso, among others.

Radu Dogaru is among six Romanians currently on trial for last years massive three-minute heist from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam.

None of the famous paintings were equipped with an alarm and on Tuesday Dogaru told the court, “I could not imagine that a museum would exhibit such valuable works with so little security.

Dogaru’s lawyer Cataline Dancu added, “We can clearly speak of negligence with serious consequences… If we do not receive answers about who is guilty… we are considering hiring Dutch lawyers to start a legal case in The Netherlands or in Romania.”

The man’s attorney says the Kunsthal, if found guilty of negligence, “would have to share the burden of compensation” with his client. Insurers have paid out millions of dollars following the theft.

Among the missing paintings are Pablo Picasso’s “Tete d’Arlequin”, Claude Monet’s “Waterloo Bridge” and “Femme Devant une Fenetre Ouverte, dite La Fiancee” by Paul Gauguin.

Dogaru’s mother claims that she torched the paintings in her stove in an attempt to destroy evidence against her son. While his mother later denied the claim, experts from Romania’s National History Museum said ashes retrieved from her stove shows proof of three oil paintings and nails from frames that were created before the end of the 19th century.

“The paintings were certainly not destroyed. I don’t know where they are but I believe they have been sold”, Radu Dogaru told the judge on Tuesday.

Radu Dogaru claims that the nails came from 19th century icons, a theory that was proven false by Romania’s National History Museum.

Dogaru’s lawyer in the meantime has attempted to hold the surviving paintings as ransom, claiming that he can give five of the pieces of artwork back. His lawyer claims that the paintings are hiding in Maldova.

If found guilty Dogaru could face up to 20 years in prison. He heads back to court on November 19.

The men who stole the paintings targeted the Kunsthal by chance, plugging their location into a GPS and then searching for nearby museums. The men chanced upon a poster that advertised the museum as holding onto 150 masterpieces.

The men were caught after an art appraiser helped police identify the thieves.

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