Romania’s National History Museum is analyzing stove ashes to verify whether they’re remains of seven paintings by masters including Picasso, Matisse, and Monet: works stolen last year from the Netherlands.
Media worldwide have been reporting on the find today. UK’s guardian.com explained that the ashes were found in Olga Dogaru’s stove:
She is the mother of Radu Dogaru, one of three Romanian suspects charged with stealing the paintings from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal gallery in a daytime heist.
It was the biggest art theft in more than a decade in the Netherlands. The stolen works have an estimated value of tens of millions of dollars if they were sold at auction.
Dogaru told investigators she was scared for her son after he was arrested in January and buried the art in an abandoned house and then in a cemetery in the village of Caracliu. She said she later dug them up and burned them in February after police began searching the village for the stolen works.
The Romanian prosecutor’s office indicated it had doubts about Dogaru’s story, adding it could take months to get the test results.
The stolen paintings: Picasso’s 1971 Harlequin Head; Monet’s 1901 Waterloo Bridge, London and Charing Cross Bridge, London; Matisse’s 1919 Reading Girl in White and Yellow; Paul Gauguin’s 1898 Girl in Front of Open Window; Meyer de Haan’s Self-Portrait, around 1890; and Lucian Freud’s 2002 work Woman With Eyes Closed.