In a story that defies logic, all that remains of works by Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Gauguin, Lucian Freud, and Meyer de Hanan may have been burned. Last October, thieves stole seven works belonging to collector Willem Cordia from Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum. Investigators traced the paintings to the remote Romanian village of Carcaliu, where Olga Dogaru—the mother of the alleged thief—says she burned the works because if they no longer existed, she thought he son could not get in trouble. (The paintings include Monet’s 1901 Waterloo Bridge, London, Gauguin’s 1898 Girl in Front of Open Window, and Picasso’s 1971 Harlequin Head.) While experts have not yet confirmed the remains are definitely those works, they have discovered remnants like tin-lead yellow which has not been used since the 19th century as well as nails and tacks made by blacksmiths.
TRAGEDY Police Rotterdam/AP