Thieves make off with paintings by Picasso and Portinari in Brazil

December 21, 2007 23:46


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Ignoring works by Modigliani, Matisse, Renoir, and Van Gogh, thieves homed in on just two paintings - one by Pablo Picasso and another by Candido Portinari - in the first heist in the 60-year history of Brazil's premier modern art museum. Armed with nothing more than a crow bar and a car jack, it took them just three minutes to break into the Sao Paulo Museum of Art before dawn Thursday and steal Picasso's "Portrait of Suzanne Bloch," and Portinari's "O Lavrador de Cafe." Picasso painted the portrait in 1904 during his Blue Period and it is among the most valuable pieces in the museum's collection. Jones Bergamin, a Sao Paulo gallery director, estimated the painting's price at about $50 million

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