Last year, a number of priceless paintings were stolen from a museum in the Netherlands. Of the painting stolen, the most notable was an original Picasso painting titled “Harlequin Head”. Original pieces by Matisse, and Money were also stolen from the Kunsthat Gallery in Rotterdamn. Today, it appears Picasso’s Harlequin Head, as well as the other stolen paintings have been found in Romania. Unfortunately, it appears all of the stolen art is now ash after being destroyed in a Romanian oven.
Allegedly, a Romanian women named Olga Dogaru, the mother of one of the three suspected art thieves, destroyed the million-dollar art in her oven in an attempt to destroy evidence linking her son to the crime. In doing so, Olga secured her son – and herself – a much stiffer punishment than if the paintings had been recovered unharmed.
Picasso’s Harlequin Head and other pieces were stolen in an intricate heist last October 16th. On that day, masked men entered, robbed, and exited the museum within two minutes. Police arrived on the scene three minutes after that, but all they found were broken glass and hanging wall wires where the valuable art used to be.
Radu Dogaru, the alleged ringleader of the heist remains in police custody along with his two alleged crime companions. The charred oven remains are currently being analyzed by art patrons at a Romanian museum. If that team is able to match the ashes to the stolen painting, these alleged criminals likely won’t be “alleged” for much longer.
There’s something inherently heart-wrenching about classic art being destroyed. Unlike other mediums, the originality of paintings and portraits is what makes them so valuable. The image of Picasso’s Harlequin Head will live on forever, but the original copy, graced by Picasso’s own brush, is now char mixed with burnt Romanian food.