ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Loss of Art from the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Updated on December 14, 2014
French Police investigate the 2010 Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris Heist
French Police investigate the 2010 Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris Heist

The Theft

On May 20, 2010, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris reported the overnight theft of five paintings from its collection. Shortly after 3:45 a.m. a window had been smashed and a masked individual cut The Pigeon with the Peas (1911-1912) by Pablo Picasso, Pastoral (1905) by Henri Matisse, Olive Tree near Estaque (1906) by Georges Braque, Woman with a Fan (Lunia Czechowska) (1919) by Amedeo Modigliani and Still Life with Candlestick (1922) by Fernand Léger out of their frames and left with them. Valued at $123 million, all five works were immediately entered into every international stolen art database, and INTERPOL began circulating pictures.

Braque, "Olive Tree near Estaque", 1906. Oil on Canvas
Braque, "Olive Tree near Estaque", 1906. Oil on Canvas

Rumors Surrounding the Theft

Now over four years later, nothing has been publicly released about the progress of the investigation and the paintings are still missing. When pressed for information, no government agency is forthcoming and so we are left with rumors. Once such rumor is that the Serious Crime Brigade had/has placed three men under investigation for the theft- the alleged thief and two accomplices. According to anonymous police sources cited by Le Journal du Dimanche in a 2011 article, one of the alleged accomplices, known only as Jonathan, 34, told detectives that when the other two men were arrested in May of 2011, he "panicked and destroyed the canvasses before throwing them into a rubbish truck”.

The police sources noted they were skeptical of Jonathan’s account, but could not "totally rule out” this disastrous scenario. Le Journal du Dimanch further explains that the police were able to track down Jonathan from their arrest of Vrejan T “Spiderman”, 43, who was detained days after the heist over a separate art theft from a chic Paris apartment. Under questioning Vrejan T reportedly recounted how he loosened the screws in a window then returned a few nights later to remove the frame and sliced through a padlock on an iron grille. Initially he explained he had gone there only to steal the Léger on a job, but once inside was "surprised" when the burglary alarm failed to sound and picked up the four other works.

Vrejan T reportedly further explained to investigators he had stolen the Léger for Jean-Michel C, 56, an antiques dealer with a shop called Antiquités Bastille who was himself arrested in May of 2010 for selling other stolen artworks. However Jean-Michel C reportedly told police sources that Vrejan T had left the works at his boutique without his consent and so he then passed them onto Jonathan who had mentioned potential Israeli buyers. This was where Jonathan denied selling the works and claimed throwing them into the rubbish truck as previously mentioned. All of which is heresy as it is unaccredited accounts in a newspaper article, but it is a fascinating story nonetheless.

Needless to say as the paintings have not been recovered and no information has been publicly released pertaining to any details into the investigation, anyone with information on the paintings' whereabouts is asked to contact INTERPOL .

All of the Stolen Works:

Picasso; Modigliani; Léger Braque; Matisse
Picasso; Modigliani; Léger Braque; Matisse

Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris:
11 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France

get directions

Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

Reuters News Release on the Theft

Have you visited the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)