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Did Romanian mom torch Monet, Matisse, and Picasso along with her slippers?

Stashed in: Art!, ART, Picasso

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Cremers also warned that chances of recovery were slim.

“For paintings, that chance is around 30 to 40 percent. On average it takes about seven years,” he says. But he notes that there is no guarantee of recovery, pointing to two works by Vincent van Gogh that were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in December 2002. Two thieves were sentenced for that crime in 2005, but the stolen paintings have never been recovered.

Chris Marinello of the Art Loss Register, which specializes in tracking down stolen artworks, told the AP that if Dogaru did indeed destroy the paintings, "this isn't the first time the mothers of art thieves have come to the rescue of their son."

One case involved a prolific French criminal named Stephane Breitwieser, who stole more than 200 works from small museums across Europe in the late 1990s.

His mother admitted to destroying dozens of the works after police began investigating her son. She cut up paintings, stuffed the remnants down her garbage disposal, and threw valuable jewels and other antiquities into a canal.

She was arrested after some of the items resurfaced. "Old Masters were washing up on the bank," Marinello said.


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