Society

Thief Sues Museum He Stole Art From For Negligence, Claims Security Made It Easy To Steal

| by Jonathan Wolfe

Here’s a weird one for you.

A Romanian man who stole seven valuable paintings from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam is suing the museum for negligence, claiming that the museum made it too easy for him to steal the paintings.

"I could not imagine that a museum would exhibit such valuable works with so little security," said Radu Dogaru, the man convicted of stealing the paintings.

The seven paintings, which include works by Picasso, Monet, and Gauguin, are worth an estimated $24 million dollars. The paintings have not been recovered, and investigators believe they may have been destroyed. Dogaru is currently on the hook for millions of dollars in claims from companies insuring the art.

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If he can convince court officials that the Kunsthal museum was negligent in their securing of the art, the museum will have to help repay the insurance claims.

"We can clearly speak of negligence with serious consequences,” defense lawyer Catalin Dancu said. "If we do not receive answers about who is guilty" for the failure of the security system at the museum, "we are considering hiring Dutch lawyers to start a legal case in The Netherlands or in Romania."

Several weeks ago, Dogaru’s mother claimed she burned the paintings in her oven in order to destroy the evidence against her son. She has since retracted her statement, but nails found inside her oven indicate she may have been telling the truth.

Dogaru’s next hearing is on November 19th. We’ll update you then about the outcome of the lawsuit. Until then, have fun imaging the look on the face of the museum’s attorney if the judge sides with Dogaru. 

Sources: The Atlantic Wire, AFP