An art thief made off with seven pieces by Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Gaugin and Freud.
Seven masterpieces, including paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Monet and Gauguin, were stolen in a pre-dawn heist Tuesday at Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum, the biggest such theft in the Netherlands in two decades, police said.
Alerted by an alarm but arriving on the scene after the thief or thieves had fled, police said they had launched a major investigation that includes interviewing possible witnesses and examining closed-circuit television.
"On Tuesday morning seven artworks were stolen from the Kunsthal in Rotterdam," police said in a statement, adding the burglary took place at around 3:00 a.m..
After having initially declined to name the stolen paintings, they said that after consulting with the owners, they can now release photographs of the works.
"A major investigation is under way and forensics are at the scene," Rotterdam police spokeswoman Patricia Wessels said. "We're investigating how they got access, what time it happened and who did it."