Art thieves take eight paintings from German bank

Other News Materials 9 July 2008 22:13 (UTC +04:00)

Art thieves have made off with eight valuable paintings from a German bank, police in Dusseldorf said Wednesday.

The oil paintings decorated the downtown offices in the city of the bank, which offers private banking to millionaires, the dpa reported.

The pictures and an expensive vase disappeared on Saturday or Sunday. Police were called Monday, but did not make the theft public at first. Instead, the entire building, including 300 offices and an underground parking area, were combed for hiding places.

Police were puzzled at how the thieves could have spirited the items through the bank's high security, but said Wednesday they were certain the art was had not been lost or concealed in the building.

Police gave no precise value, saying only that the haul was worth hundreds of thousands of euros. The pictures included a still life by Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907). She was one of Germany's most innovative artists at the start of the 20th century.