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Massive art theft by loan burglar

art theftFrench police said that five paintings valued at £430 including pieces by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso were stolen from a museum yesterday.

A spokesman for the police stated that the works were reported missing from the Paris Museum of Modern Art and also included paintings by George Braque, Fernand Leger, and Amedeo Modigliani.

It was 7am when it was discovered that a window had been shattered and the padlock of a grille was smashed.  A review of the CCTV footage showed a person had entered through the window.

Investigators and police had closed off the museum, which is located across the River Seine directly opposite of the Eiffel Tower.

Le Monde reported that since the paintings are very well known it will be hard for the thief to sell them on the open market.  They also stated that in the past thefts of paintings were sold to private collectors.

A member of the museum staff stated that all questions regarding the theft could only be answered by the office of Bertrand Delanoe, the Paris mayor.

An investigation of the theft is underway by the France elite police unit, the Brigade de Repression du Banditisme.

In December of 2009 an Edgar Degas painting was stolen in Marseille during the night while on exhibition.

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