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Armed robbers steal Magritte painting worth $1.1 million
|Written by ASSOCIATED PRESS|
|Friday, 25 September 2009 09:37|
BRUSSELS (AP) - Two armed robbers made off with a $1.1 million painting by Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte in a morning heist at a small museum in the Belgian capital on Thursday.
Brussels city police spokesman Johan Berckmans said the two men escaped with the 1948 Olympia oil painting by car on Thursday after holding museum staff and tourists at gunpoint.
He said the thieves had planned their heist at the appointment-only exhibit well.
"It is likely an ordered job," Berckmans said. "It (the painting) has a street value of 750,000 euros ($1.1 million)."
One thief had entered the building first "and as soon as he came in he threatened personnel with a weapon," Berckmans said. The first thief then let in his accomplice who moved the people in the museum, which included several tourists, to another room, while the other removed the painting.
The canvas portrays a woman with a shell at the seaside, and is believed to be a portrait of Magritte's wife, Georgette, Berckmans said.
The painting hung at Magritte's former house, which has been turned into a small museum, which includes various keepsakes, furniture and a small collection of works by the famous artist who died in 1967.
It is separate from a larger Magritte museum, home to 200 of his works, that opened in June.
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|Last Updated on Friday, 25 September 2009 09:48|