The fate of seven paintings stolen from Amsterdam’s Kunstal last October still remains unclear after new Romanian media reports state three rather than seven have been burned.
Traces of paint found in the ashes of a stove in the home of the mother of one suspect provide ‘convincing evidence’ that three of the works have been destroyed, the head of the research team is quoted as saying.
But according to other Romanian reports, the suspect’s mother has withdrawn an earlier statement in which she admitted burning the paintings because she feared her son had done something terrible.
Research chief Gheorghe Niculescu was unable to say which of the works were set on fire, ANP said. Niculescu said last week traces of ash and nails show the paintings were likely to have been destroyed.
The works by Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Gauguin, Meyer de Haan and Lucian Freud were taken from the museum on the night of October 15.
Six people will go on trial in Romania in connection with the theft later this year.
The paintings were said to have been given to Olga Dogaru, mother of one of the main suspects, after the gang realised they were too well known to be sold. She is then said to have burned them in a stove at her home.